Disaster movies are not all copies of one another, but they are cut from the same cloth, so to speak. There are explosions, people dying and lots of close calls – Greenland is not much different.
Greenland was released onto Prime Video on February 5th, 2021.
The movie starts with John (Gerard Butler), who is an architect. We follow him home as he listens to the radio, which is explaining that a comet named Clarke is on its way to Earth.
We learn very early on that John and his wife, Allison (Morena Baccarin) have marital issues – he sleeps in the guest room most nights. It seems at this point in the film that their relationship is a little predictable; fighting at the start, but they might work through it somehow in the middle of the end of the world.
Their son, Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd) is smart and seems to be used as a way to explain to the audience briefly what a comet is, which is actually rather nice. It was a little different to hear the child explain to the adult what was going on instead of the other way around.
When the family are throwing a barbecue, the films kicks it up to high gear. The news shows the comet entering the atmosphere and everyone is wondering why nothing has happened… until a giant blast comes crashing through the house.
John then receives a text stating there is an amber alert, and his family has been selected to go into a bunker. As expected, once the family is packed and in the car, their neighbours are less than pleased.
One neighbour does wish them good luck, but only after screaming in John’s face. The next neighbour to try and stop them leaving sparks a very emotional scene – she asks them to take her daughter with them.
There is crying, screaming - sadness simply shrouds this scene and it is an excellent part of the movie. Nathan is crying as he wants to take his friend, Allison is crying and John is trying to keep a level head and get out of the neighbourhood. It’s a very emotional scene, despite its briefness.
So, after being only 20 minutes into the film, everything has pretty much hit the fan. The plot seems to be clean cut – the family must get to the military checkpoint in order to get on the plane that will take them to the bunker. However, it's not going to be an easy journey...
The one thing that does set this film apart from other disaster movies like it, is that the twists and turns are genuinely unexpected. You think that the plot is linear, but when it takes the family about five minutes to get where you thought it would take them the whole film to get, things get interesting.
The plot takes so many different angles, from the family being split up after being denied entry onto the planes despite them being selected, to a very surprising kidnapping.
The film really does keep you guessing, which we did not see coming. Just when you think the film is another predictable disaster movie, something happens that makes you re-evaluate this – and it's actually genius.
It may just be us, but it seems that the film took inspiration from other films of the same caliber, such as World War Z and War of the Worlds, which is quite nice to see and even if that isn’t the case, the movie gives off those apocalypse vibes.
Having said that, the film does lack in a couple of areas. The dialogue is a little odd in places, for example, when Nathan gives a brief speech about how it would be better to see your life flash before you while you’re alive, not before you die… as nice as that is, kids don’t talk like that. Also, the line was not delivered very well - sorry Nathan.
The other area in which this film could have tried harder in, is the information. Of course, this is a fictional film so not everything has to be perfect, but it seems they just didn’t check their facts.
For example, the news says that this meteor or comet is bigger than the one that killed the dinosaurs… if that were true everyone would have died before the comet got anywhere near the planet. That may be a small one to pick up on, but is still important.
Another thing that struck us as a bit odd, is that when the survivors are let out of the bunker to see what has happened to the Earth, someone on the radio states that “It’s been a long nine months underground.” This is way too short of a time to be underground after an event like that, even if it is just a film.
Two or three years would have made more sense, and it would have been a bit more hard-hitting for those who made it through the event that ruined the planet.
Greenland is definitely a film worth watching, as the plot is not as predictable as you may have thought, which is brilliant as some other disaster movies are very opaque.
Despite the off-balance information in the film and the dialogue that’s a little off in places, it is still a very decent one that you should watch at least once, to get a few surprises while watching.
Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal
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