Review by Camden Ferrell
Greenland is the newest film from director Ric Roman Waugh, and it was one of the major studio releases to be delayed due to the global pandemic. Luckily, in these trying times, this is a movie that provides plenty of mindless apocalyptic fun even if it isn’t very original.
In this movie, citizens around the world are gathered to watch Clark, a celestial comet, enter Earth’s atmosphere and touchdown in the ocean. However, this does not happen and the comet fragments and creates devastating crashes worldwide. In the face of impending apocalypse, John desperately tries to get him and his family to safety. This is a fun premise that is perfect for casual action and thrills. It’s not very layered or subtle, but it is sufficient for the genre.
The script, written by Chris Sparling, is very forgettable but ultimately adequate for the type of movie they are trying to make. It relies heavily on explosions and chaos, and it doesn’t do much else to develop its characters or situations. Granted, when it does try to explore character’s backstories, it interrupts its momentum, and it doesn’t always work to the benefit of the film.
The acting in this movie is also very adequate. Gerald Butler leads in a performance that is not so different from his other films. He gives the same stoic performance that one would expect from an action film protagonist, and there isn’t anything special about it. Morena Baccarin co-stars as Allison, John’s wife. Her performance is easily the best, and there are some really great moments of fear and desperation, but her character can often be reduced to a very standard maternal archetype.
One of the reasons why the movie works is due to its stakes. Its highly unrealistic apocalyptic stakes allow the viewer to shut off their mind and just enjoy the widespread chaos. This approach works really well in providing an escape from the actual horrors our world faces today. Thankfully, the film understands that for its sake, bigger is better, and this is a grandiose story.
The action itself is decently enjoyable. It is full of devastating debris from the comets, shockwaves, explosions, and everything else you can think of. It spreads these moments out fairly well through its two-hour runtime, and it doesn’t try and cram too much into one particular part of the film.
While the film is enjoyable, it is hard to overlook just how passable the film is. It doesn’t break new ground, and it doesn’t quite live up to past disaster movies, but it is still just about what you would expect from a film such as this. It’s fairly derivative, but it ends up being a mindless two-hours that are pretty entertaining.
Greenland is perfect for fans of action and mindless chaos. It’s a fun movie that doesn’t require any effort from the viewer, and it should satiate your big blockbuster needs until theaters are once again reopened.
Greenland is available on VOD December 18.