‘Greenland’ Isn’t Great, But It’s Pretty Great For What It Is
I think most of us can agree that “jarring” is a pretty good word to sum up 2020 … at least in terms of non-profane words.
For the past few months, I truly believed I’d seen every astonishing moment the universe could throw at us. But leave it to mid-December end-of-the-world thriller ‘Greenland’ to get one more good jab in before the New Year.
It might be hard to believe, but the year is 2020 and Gerard Butler has a lead role in a non-animated movie that isn’t terrible.
(L-R) Morena Baccarin, Roger Dale Floyd and Gerard Butler star in ‘Greenland.’ (Image Courtesy of STXfilms)
Butler stars as John Garrity, a structural engineer who’s trying to piece together his fractured marriage to his wife, Allison (Morena Baccarin). Nobody is happier to see the attempting-to-reconcile couple than their young son, Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd).
While prepping for a party with their friends and neighbors to watch a large interstellar comet named Clarke pass by Earth, the Garrity men head out on a last-minute party supply run.
While purchasing Bud Light (yay product placement) and debating the merits of competing unnamed juice boxes (missed opportunity, Big Juice), John receives a vague text message directing him and his family to report to a government shelter.
Upon returning home, they discover Clarke isn’t as harmless as the world believed and the family must quickly follow the directions of the message if they want to reach safety before the world quite literally comes crashing down around them.
‘Greenland’ (Image Courtesy of STXfilms)
Now before we go too far down the ‘Gerard Butler is in a good movie’ rabbit hole, let’s put it all out on the table – ‘Greenland’ is not a great movie. Heck, I wouldn’t even go far as to say it’s a very good movie. It is, however, incredibly watchable and way better than it has any right being.
It’s also fairly predictable and plays it safe by not straying too far from the well-established disaster film formula. And that is probably its greatest strength – it allows the story of a family fighting for survival in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds to overshadow any deficiencies in the acting (which isn’t great), plot holes (which are present), or just general ridiculousness (which is on full display).
And honestly, I can’t think of a better year than this to have such a movie. Family fighting for family is timeless and relatable to most people, and if you can’t simply believe in general ridiculousness for the sake of believing in general ridiculousness after living through this year, then you’re simply never going to believe.
Oh, and a bunch of stuff blows up, and that’s usually a pretty good thing.
‘Greenland’ certainly has some obvious warts and it’s not something I’ll revisit often, but it’s the kind of movie that you watch in the theater – or in this case PVOD because, well, 2020 – and then get sucked into after stumbling upon it while channel surfing through basic cable channels a couple of years down the road.
Turn your brain off and enjoy it for what it is.
★★★ of ★★★★★