Ewan Gleadow

Movie Review: Greenland

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Copyright: STX Films

 

Leading lad Gerard Butler is having an odd resurgence as of late.

His continuing efforts with the Has Fallen trilogy (which will see its fourth and hopefully final entry next year) showcases the popularity the man still has. Such a strangely popular individual, cropping up in Geostorm and Hunter Killer, appealing to a specific demographic that just so happens to be the most profitable section of the Hollywood audience.

You can’t knock him for adapting his clear talents and hold of the screen to form a stark and uninteresting series of action films, blurring them together with a meandering hatred that, if you look close enough into his eyes, you can see bubbling below the surface. Those dead, saddened eyes are found mulling around Greenland, a disaster film from director Ric Roman Waugh.

Marking the second collaboration between Waugh and Butler in only two years, Greenland involves a relatively normal family man, trapped in the rat race of horrifying suburban America, racing to get his family to a safe zone after a comet heads straight for Earth. Presumably the comet heard Night Has Fallen was in production and planned to stop it at all costs.

Given the performance from Butler here, I can’t blame the comet for wanting to crash headfirst into Earth, ripping a hole through it. The disaster left by such a blast would pale in comparison to the relatively harmless nature of Greenland, whose sleek and rigid cut staggers through with such disengaged predictability.

Butler is fine here, his efforts in front of the camera are often acceptable, and in Greenland he is asked for nothing more than to perform the worried family man doing anything it takes to protect his loved ones. Scenes of brief moral consequence come into play rather early, but none amount to anything of real merit or worth. They are passed over with a general lack of conviction, performed with no need for innovation, comfortable in the film’s own ubiquity.

The same goes for the rest of the cast, who are pawns to King Butler, his swift survey of the land sees a shoddy collection of loud nonsense paired with a story of reuniting family members. Greenland is assembled fast and dirty, with no real care for the final outcome, provided it can offer some miserable jolt of adrenalin. It’s like attempting to prep a gourmet dish on a heavily turbulence-afflicted aeroplane, and the only ingredient you have is Spam.

Somehow my discomfort with disaster was not enough to warn me off of watching Greenland, an apocalyptic film of vastly dense proportions, a film that offers up the uninterrupted hallmarks of a disaster flick, and has little else to show for it.

Another piece for the pile of ever-growing disaster flicks, one that is unrivalled in its ability to conjure up feelings of misery and anxiety. It does so well, but without flair or style; frustratingly enough there are unique narrative threads that lead nowhere in the long run.

Waugh is too focused on making Butler look like the action hero audiences already know he is. Surplus to requirement is all Greenland can offer – and that’s never a good look for a film attempting the bare minimum.