“Greenland” ranks well above average when it comes to disaster movies. Screenwriter Chris Sparling takes the traditional end of the world blueprint and inserts some really nice surprises and twists, making this formulaic action flick seem not as much so.
John (Gerard Butler) is in a race against time to save his wife (Morena Baccarin) and son (Roger Dale Floyd) from an alien killer comet that is hurtling towards Earth. The impact of the big one is expected in less than 24 hours, and there seems to be no hope for any survivors. While at the grocery store, John gets a terrifying message from the Department of Homeland Security alerting him that his family has been chosen to flee to a safe haven bunker in Greenland. As the trio attempt to get to the designated location, a lot starts to go wrong.
Director Ric Roman Waugh worked with Butler on “Angel Has Fallen,” and he is a good choice at the helm. He creates a world of increasing panic and lawlessness, and you’re right there along for the ride. The movie has a brisk pacing, and the stakes are high. The special effects are satisfying, especially the scenes of destruction. That is, after all, why most of us watch movies about catastrophes in the first place.
Even more admirable is that the film doesn’t fall into the trap of the typical “rah rah” patriotic disaster movie. There are no waving American flags, no slow motion masculine strutting. Instead, “Greenland” sets its bar at a much higher level, and it succeeds. This is a really well done, enjoyable popcorn movie.