This year seems ill-chosen for the release of entertainment revolving around a worldwide disaster, but here comes Greenland, about a giant, zillion-fragment comet crashing into Earth in flaming, plot-point-determined handfuls of killer chunks. It’s a movie that makes 1998’s Armageddon and Deep Impact look like documentaries, since Greenland’s rocks rain down on the Eastern U.S. at all times of the day and night, despite the presumed rotation of the planet away from the comet’s path for at least half the day.
The movie follows the Garrity family — gruff architect John (Gerard Butler), estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin, Deadpool) and adorable 7-year-old Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd, Doctor Sleep) — as they flee their (where else?) Atlanta home in the hopes of catching a flight to Greenland, where underground bunkers will protect a select few. Along the way, they meet countless violent, horrible Americans, a few doomed nice people and some helpful Canadians. Scott Glenn eventually shows up as Allison’s crusty dad, evidently the only star the producers could afford other than Butler. The always-underused Hope Davis also has a drive-by.
The screenplay is by low-profile-thriller specialist Chris Sparling (The Sea of Trees), whose dialogue is obvious but inoffensive and whose plotting is by turns baffling, absurd and creative. The special effects are competent if underwhelming. Ditto the direction by former stuntman Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch).
Of course, if you’re in the mood for a disaster movie and don’t mind Butler’s limited range, you may find Greenland to be reasonably diverting. It keeps things moving, burning and colliding, and a number of sequences earn some “How will they get out of this?” engagement. And, unlike most of 2020’s real disasters, there’s a promise of hope at the conclusion — well, except for the whole end-of-the-world part.
Available to rent via Amazon Video, iTunes and other streaming platforms