Ric Roman Waugh
Starring Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, David Denman, Hope Davis, Roger Dale Floyd
The films of 2020 lacked a sense of voluminosity. The big Hollywood blockbuster was a scarce genre, only appearing through the likes of Tenet or Bad Boys for life. But now, just a couple of months into 2021, a high stakes disaster movie has arrived on our small screens, and although feeling a little redundant at times, Greenland gives us a compelling story that not many films of the disaster movie genre have done before it.
The film does start to feel slightly familiar. A planet-killing comet hurtles towards Earth and now humanity will plunge into chaos to get themselves and their families to safety, doing whatever it takes no matter the consequences or how careless. John Garrity (Gerard Butler) and his family are chosen to have a space on a plane that will take them to a bunker for safety in Greenland, and it's this sense of locking down and global disaster that hits a little too close to home. And what this film does so well is to not rely on the large-scale CGI set pieces (that the film didn't have the budget for) but instead focus on the characters.
Director, Ric Roman Waugh has found the balance of action and story here, and his leading star Gerard Butler does an excellent job. In some of his best work in years Butler shows an emotional side that we rarely see, and his estranged wife Allison, played by Morena Baccarin provides a sense of hope and affability to his character. Not only that but the moments of chaos performed by Baccarin are beautifully tense.
And tensity is the key word here. It's been a long time since I've watched a film through my fingers and Greenland had me doing this at various points. The stakes are high and the vehemence with it, and although certain elements of the screenplay are weak and somewhat inconsistent, it does not detract too much from the emotional backbone that this anxiety-inducing thriller has at its core.
Greenland available now on Amazon Prime