Turn left at Greenland.
Greenland (2020): 7 out of 10: A comet is breaking up near earth. The world gathers to see the light show and oops, it’s a killer comet whose first victim is Tampa. Now the world waits while governments scramble to get the future of humanity into underground bunkers (located in Greenland naturally) before the planet killer hits in twenty-four hours.
The Good: Greenland is more On the Beach than 2012. It has a quiet pace for a disaster film and considering the genre it is grounded and realistic. There is a pleasant mix of humanity at its best and humanity at its worse. The acting is very good across the board and the script by Chris Sparling is tight and well thought out.
What Greenland does extremely well is that it recognizes it has a certain limit on its budget and uses that as a strength rather than a weakness. Take notes pretty much everyone else in Hollywood.
Greenland is infinitely better than the much larger budgeted Gerald Butler disaster film Geostorm. (Hilariously, in my review of Geostorm one of my first comments is how at least it is better than The Core). So if you can only see one Gerald Butler disaster film…
The Bad: I like big budget disaster movies. Coming up soon on this site will be my review of San Andreas, which is not as well written or acted as Greenland. But you know what San Andreas has? About 40 minutes of earthquakes. I like earthquakes and I like 40 minutes of them. So this puts San Andreas as just a little better than Greenland, despite the latter’s strengths. (San Andreas also has about 40 minutes of Alexandra Daddario’s cleavage, which certainly doesn’t hurt either.)
Gerald Butler has been downgraded budget wise as of late. (I noticed it in Angel Has Fallen which seems to have taken a major budget hit from the previous Has Fallen films.) He is one of those actors that is in a lot of movies and is fun to watch but never quite to the level of A list star. Kind of like Clive Owen.
Greenland smartly uses some of its budget restrictions to tell a better story. Sometimes, however, genre spectacle wins over the better written film. You can write intelligent erotic thriller. But if it is PG-13 and stars Sarah Jessica Parker, I’m going to watch Body of Evidence instead. Think of it like the difference between Carriers and World War Z. You signed up for a zombie film you want to see hundreds of zombies. You signed up for a disaster film. You need to see more than a rural Georgia Piggly Wiggly being wiped out by a space rock.
The Ugly: Chris Sparling wrote a tight script, but he might have wanted to peruse a Wikipedia article or two on diabetes before handing in his final draft. To quote the IMDb goofs “The diabetic cleavage,says he has low blood sugar and the mother gives him extra insulin. This would actually lower the blood sugar even further. What the child actually needs is something to eat.” and “When Nathan appears unwell outside the airbase, Allison confirms that his insulin pump is running empty but then proceeds to give him a sweet/candy. If his insulin pump was empty then his blood sugar would be running high. Giving him a sweet would be dangerous.”
In Conclusion: The makers of Greenland are currently in preproduction on the sequel Greenland: Migration. The plot is quote “The survived Garrity family must leave the safety of the Greenland bunker and embark on a perilous journey across the decimated frozen wasteland of Europe to find a new home.”
May I humbly suggest before proceeding any further the makers of Greenland play some Fallout? Greenland is the closest I have seen to the opening sequence of Fallout 4. And the ending (not to give anything away) had Vault #8 written all over it.