Movie Review – Greenland – A disaster movie with a difference!
My Rating 4 out of 5
Plot Summary – Greenland
In the year that was 2020, global disaster struck in the form of the Corona virus Pandemic. Millions were affected (around 86.4 and rising), and continue to do so with the number of deaths worldwide crossing 1.8 million plus. To release a movie about another type of Global disaster, requires courage, as the genre has almost been done to death by Hollywood. What stood out for me in Greenland, is the treatment of the film. It does not focus on heroism against such an impending disaster by any individual, but on the human story of how lives are affected by it and how common people find that heroism within themselves.
My friend Teddy says your life flashes in front of your eyes when you die. I think it would be better if it did that while you lived. That way, you could see all the good memories and be happy.Nathan Garrity in Greenland
A comet, named Clarke is approaching Earth and is expected to pass by with some fragments straying into the earth’s atmosphere. Experts opined that those few fragments would burn up well before reaching the surface. While people kept an eye out for such a rare cosmic event, life went on as usual…Until it didn’t! Defying all expert analyses, large fragments start hitting cities around the Globe and even the main Comet is expected to hit Earth and trigger an extinction level event!
John Garrity (Gerard Butler), a structural engineer, works on High-rises and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. His estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) and son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd), a diabetic, also live there. On that fateful day, John comes home to host a party for his neighbours and try to patch up his crumbling marriage. It is then that they receive a Presidential Alert that the Garrity’s have been selected to go to the nearest military Airbase, to be further transported to secret bunkers when the Comet Clarke hits.
This is where the movie deviates from most films in this genre made so far. It is not about an army or scientists firing nuclear missiles at the Comet before it can hit, it is about the human tragedies that unfold in the wake of natural disasters and the emergence of courageous heroes from among the common folk. The pain of losing near and dear ones and having to make a choice of who to save and who to desert is a tragic one and this film highlights it quite well.
The family first gets separated and then reunited over quite a few challenging incidents and finally makes their way to the home of Allison’s dad, Dale (Scott Glenn) only to continue their eventful journey towards the supposedly safe sanctuary, which is now known to be Greenland. The incidents that take place in between, differentiates this movie from others, in how characters with small roles show up the entire range of human values – from the good to the ugly.
Conclusion – Greenland Movie Review
I for one, never really liked Gerard Butler as an actor, and he doesn’t surprise me here. He’s as uni dimensional as they come and never quite gets out of first gear to sink his teeth into a role which could have been quite rewarding for his career. Scott Glenn, in a small role, impresses. He smoothly transitions from a sulky father-in-law to a large-hearted Dad and there are a few poignant scenes which involve him.
2020 has seen a dearth of real good movies from Hollywood, for very understandable reasons. Which is another reason that Greenland fared better than expected. It’s not going to knock on the Academy’s doors for any great acting performances or fantastic CGI, but it’s made a point that a disaster movie can also be made differently and it does not have to turn out to be half as boring as expected. A decent watch, is how I would sum it up…
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