A family struggles for survival in the face of a cataclysmic natural disaster.

The biggest surprise of 2021 so far is undoubtedly a good Gerard Butler movie – something we haven’t been accustomed to in recent years since his hot streak in the mid-2000s. I’ll confess I had low expectations for a Butler disaster movie going in, but ‘Greenland’ is a surprisingly effective thriller with a good premise, tension and I enjoyed it much more than I expected too.

Greenland’ focuses on the Garrity family, who live in Atlanta where John (Butler) works as a structural engineer. With a comet set to narrowly avoid a collision with earth the stage is set for that to clearly not happen, and when disaster strikes, John and his family receive notifications to head for a nearby Air Force base, where they discover they are amongst a chosen few who have been selected to be taken to secretive underground bunkers to survive the extinction event and start to rebuild the planet. Events conspire against the Garrity’s and they are unable to board the planes, leading them on a mad dash towards Canada where they’ve heard word of civilian aircraft ferrying lucky individuals away from the devastation.

The reason ‘Greenland’ works so well is because it feels grounded (as grounded as a disaster movie can be) and it maintains its focus on the personal – that of one family trying to escape a horrendous fate. It is incredibly tense at times with good set pieces that feel realistic to how society would collapse in this situation (considering we had runs on supermarkets just for Covid, if anything this doesn’t feel extreme enough!). Butler gets a couple of action scenes in but they’re fairly thin on the ground – this is a film more focused on survival and I felt myself rooting for the Garrity family as they overcome a variety of challenges.

Greenland’ isn’t going to win any awards but this is an effective disaster movie with Gerard Butler at his best and I liked it a fair bit.

Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Ric Roman Waugh

Starring: Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, Roger Dale Floyd, Scott Glenn, Hope Davis, David Denman, Andrew Bachelor and Holt McCallany

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