DVD Release: Greenland
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Cast: Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, David Denman, Hope Davis, Scott Glenn, Holt McCallany, Roger Dale Floyd, Andrew Bachelor, Merrin Dungey, Gary Weeks
Running Time: 119
Australian Distributor: Amazon Prime
Another movie has bypassed the cinema and gone straight to a digital release. This time it’s ‘Greenland‘, the latest collaboration between Gerard Butler and his ‘Angel Has Fallen’ director, Rick Roman Waugh. This disaster flick is now available on Amazon Prime.
Gerard Butler plays an average sort of guy, a father and a husband who’s just trying to keep his family safe – one who’s actually from Scotland, so no dodgy American accent. The same can be said of Morena Baccarin, rather than simply being a damsel in distress, she delivers one of the best performances of the movie as a mother who quite literally goes through hell for her family. And this is what Greenland is all about, the human story behind a major global disaster, which actually makes both the story and characters quite relatable. An early scene in which they have to ignore the pleas of their friends is heartbreaking.
What would a disaster movie be without some of those delightful clichés we’ve come to expect from this genre? Take the lead family, the Garritys; they are estranged. There’s nothing quite like a global disaster to bring a family back together. It also means lots of chaos, mass hysteria, lots and lots of running, and of course some cool action set pieces. Rick Roman Waugh and writer Chris Sparling were able to mould these into what is essentially a road trip movie, one that doesn’t shy away from the despair and desperation of such an event.
The “get to safety” premise is handled on a considerably smaller scale, and the hurdles the main characters must overcome are much more realistic. This makes for a more engaging story, one in which the tension is almost palpable.
Greenland resembles several popular disaster movies, but by focusing on the one family it gives audiences an alternate view on a major disaster. Whereas we normally see events from the point of view of a senior figure or cross-section of the population, Greenland looks at what it would be like for the general population. This includes the availability of information, and how governments may choose to handle an extinction level event.
It is an intense race against time, as John, Allison and Nathan are forced to deal with the best and worst of us – often at the same time. The movie even finds time to comment on the increasing negativity and discrimination levelled at immigrants, although not quite in the way you’d expect. Much like other movies in this genre, Greenland begs the question; what would you do if you knew the world was going to end?
Thanks to its grounded approach and relatable characters, Greenland is definitely one of the better disaster movies of recent years. It may be a tad cliché at times, but when you consider recent global events, the story of the Garrity’s travels across America certainly falls within the realms of terrifying believability.
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