Review: Greenland (2020)


Greenland (2020)

Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh | 119 minutes | action, thriller | Actors: Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, Roger Dale Floyd, Scott Glenn, Randal Gonzalez, Rick Pasqualone, Nicola Lambo, Alan Pietruszewski, Scott Poythress, Claire Bronson, Madison Johnson, Gary Weeks, Tracey Bonner, Merrin Dungey, Brandon Miller, Mike Senior

When a devastating comet hits Earth, John Garrity must do everything in his power to save his broken family. Will they be able to reach a secret military bunker within four days?

Architect John Garrity and his wife Allison try to put their relationship crisis aside for the sake of their son Nathan and because of the approaching comet. Together with their neighbors they sit glued to the TV and watch the latest news about the apparently harmless comet ‘Clarke’ that flies close to the earth. Suddenly, John receives a call from the president on his smartphone and television, stating that he and his family have been selected to take shelter in a secret military bunker. There is no time to lose and what follows is an emotional race against time.

‘Greenland’ is a typical disaster film and therefore fits perfectly in the list of films such as ‘2012’, ‘The Day after Tomorrow’ and ‘The Impossible’. As with many films in this genre, the beginning is the most exciting. The atmosphere is eerie and you feel that something catastrophic is about to happen, but when and what, you don’t know yet. In the case of ‘Greenland’ it is exciting until the moment they first arrive at the air base. They have to get to the secret bunker as quickly as possible in the plane, but of course this is not without a fight. However, the rest of the film seems to revolve around this base and the real chaos and panic does not occur.

The message that ‘Greenland’ wants to convey is very much on top: a crisis situation can bring out both the best and the worst in people. However, there seems to be no middle ground. One character will do anything to survive, while the other is calm and does not seem to realize that the world is about to end. There are explosions, the pieces of meteorite fly around your ears, but you don’t see or feel the pure, raw desperation with any of the characters.

It is a pity that director Waugh does not dare to step outside the Hollywood framework. The whole ‘the father is the hero and the mother takes care of the child’ statement is quite outdated. In addition, John has to heroically earn back his role as head of the family because he has cheated and the relationship is therefore in jeopardy. Throw in the necessary melodramatic tones and tada: you have your drama. However, you don’t really identify with the characters for a moment. There is a sugar coating over ‘Greenland’ so that it is also suitable for the larger, tender-hearted audience.

Despite the length of the film, ‘Greenland’ looks nice. Not that so much spectacular happens – no exploding statue of liberty or impressive chase – but the rhythm is continuous. ‘Greenland’ doesn’t need a big screen and good boxes, so it’s a great movie to watch on television while enjoying a bowl of popcorn. Watch it together with your loved one or roommate so that you can chat through it in the meantime and whine about the improbability of the situation. But make no mistake, before you know it you are two hours later and you realize that you have never been bored.