Greenland (released 2020 to select audiences) is an action movie starring Gerard Butler, directed by Ric Waugh. NASA alerted the public of an inbound comet, expected to make a ‘safe flyover’ given the name of Clarke. However, things take a turn for the worse when protagonist, John Garrity (Butler) receives a communication alert on his phone advising that he has been selected to be moved to a classified bunker. A plot-line attempted by many films previously, none taking too many accolades. While Greenland featured some stunning visuals, at some points the writing let it down. 




We are drawn in at the start of the film in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, where John, his wife, child and neighbors are over to watch the touchdown of some small fragments of the comet off the coast off Bermuda. John alerts Alison, his wife (Morena Baccarin) of the notification from his phone, she brushes it off until the news camera cuts to Florida, where the fragment actually touched down, killing 400,000. A small panic begins to unfold in the Garrity’s living-room as Alison takes the alert seriously. Once again, the alert sent only to John plays on the TV, as the others question why they didn’t receive it. They file out as the couple start to pack their bags. However, they are stopped by their son, Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd), gazing into the sky. “The sky’s on fire”, “We can see it from here?”. They are instructed to pack one bag, which they misinterpret as one bag each. As they pull out of their driveway, a distraught mother begs for John to take their daughter with them. He declines stating that they weren’t allowed to bring anyone else.


Upon arrival at the airfield, the family park their car and see hundreds, if not thousands, pounding on the gates. Soldiers divert the flow by saying that ‘Only chosen ones would be allowed through’. The family make it through, and begin to transfer their belongings to one bag but oops, Nathan dropped his insulin in the car. John, not thinking that insulin might be available on the aircraft, runs back to the car leaving his wife and child. As time runs out, she speaks to an officer telling him of the child’s Type 1 Diabetes. The officer pulls them into a room and tells them that there must have been a mistake, they aren’t taking anyone with severe health conditions. John returns with the insulin and is shepherded onto a plane, with his wife and child left behind. He scrambles to get off, but it’s too late, the hundreds have broken through the gates and are now all over the runway. A fuel pipe is cut causing an explosion, not before John manages to get out. Alison and Nathan flee the area, leaving a note on the car as they seek a pharmacy for Nathan’s blood pressure. Unsurprisingly, when they arrive, it is ransacked. She manages to collect a BP Checker and some medicine. We think it’s going to be all okay right until a gang storms the store, shooting people and commanding them to “GET OUT!”. Alison and Nathan crawl to an exit, before they are stopped by an armed man. Alison begs him to let them leave, which he reluctantly does. She manages to run to a car with it’s doors closing and pleads for them to hitch a ride up north to her father’s house.


John has also found a ride, this one going straight to Lexington, KY. He boards and meets some other men at the back, unnamed. One introduces himself, John approaches with caution. Another man asks where he was born, telling him: “You’re not from here, you don’t deserve that bracelet.”, and threatens John with a knife for the bracelet and his ID. A full out fight begins in the back, and the drivers pull over. They take it outside and John accidentally kills one of them, the other running. Unfortunately, his new friend was stabbed and killed. At the same time, the shady driver Alison has hitchhiked with, throws her out, takes her band and kidnaps Nathan, telling her that “I’ll save the kid” and that he doesn’t want to hurt her. Mental damage doesn’t count then eh? They drive off to another air-base to attempt to flee. Before he died, John’s friend told him that they were taking a flight from Canada to Greenland, where the bunkers were. We can assume at this point that this is where the kidnappers plan to take Nathan. We don’t pick up on John’s story for quite a while from this point onwards.


Once Nathan and his captors arrive at the airbase, they attempt to force him into not saying a word. Unfortunately for them, Nathan isn't having any of their crap. He rats them out to the officer, and they are forced out. The officer takes him to a medical tent. At the same time, Alison has hitched another ride with a Spanish family. However, the traffic has held them up so Alison leaves the car and walks the last mile. Once there, she forces her way through and shouts enough to get a guards attention. They check all possible tents until finally she is reunited with Nathan. The doctor keeps her updated on all that’s happened and gives them enough meds for a week. They are put on the next military bus to Lexington. We pick back up on John’s story to find him at a house. He is drinking from the tap and trying to call Alison. He gives up and leaves a note informing her that he’s gone to her fathers house. 


Shortly after, we see him pulling into her father’s house. He is playing a game with some of his friends and questions him as to why he is alone. He convinces him that they need to stop arguing and work together to find his wife and kids. This works when Alison manages to get on a payphone when they arrive in Lexington, and they pull up to collect her. An ‘emotional’ reunification scene ensued. Right as soon as they settle down at Grandpa’s house, John realizes that they can make it to Greenland in time as a news alert shows the bunkers to which Grandpa replies with: “The photos are older than me, you don’t know that they’re still like that”. Love the writing for this man. After a close, open talk scene between the three adults, another fragment lands not far and the shockwaves shatter the glass. The parents really don’t watch their kid at all in this film do they? This gives them the nudge to pack their bags AGAIN. Grandpa says he won’t go, he wants to die where his wife did (honestly he should have come why did they have to write him these amazing lines only for him to decline possible safety). After a long night, they hit a block of traffic in New York. A train has crashed through the rails onto the highway, what are the odds? At this time, a radio alert goes out warning of falling molten debris. This occurs almost immediately and the helicopter is struck down near the Garrity car. Cliche everything goes wrong plot in full swing.


John makes the decision to divert through the forest, as they can get some cover. Yeah, like the leaves will stop anything. They conveniently come across a bridge, which they can hide out under. But, like in any disaster movie, something has to happen and a car catches fire. John, instead of saving himself and his family, runs to try and be the hero. He saves the man, or so we think. To do this, John sacrifices all feelings in one of his hands. Once the falling debris from hell finishes, the family get back on the move to an empty highway? No cars, no debris, just open roads. Odd. As they pass the empty border station and arrive at the airfield, they see one plane taking off. One plane left, can they make it in time? They wouldn’t have if John didn’t block the runway with his car angering the pilot. They negotiate how many of them he can take, and they settle on the basis that no luggage will be taken. It was bound to happen and one of my early predictions would be that they lose the luggage. The plane takes off into the night and John says “We did it.”. Oh John, have you never watched any film ever before? There’s still plenty of time left, I doubt it’s over. Morning comes with the approach into the air-base. Strange considering the plane would have been shot down for flying unidentified into an air-base had it been real. All seems smooth until oops, another flying space rock crashes into the ocean nearby, killing the plane's engines. The pilots navigate a rough landing on a mountain side, crashing into the side. Instead of all rushing out, they hesitate before hero John states: “I’ll check in with the pilots.”. No you idiot! The world is about to end, there is no time to spare. Unfortunately, both pilots have been impaled by the mountain upon impact. Way to be cheap about actor wages.


As they disembark, a radio signal to the pilots claims that the impact is minutes away. A military plane lands near the group, John predicts it to be a mile away. As they near the base, they wave (??) and hope to be seen. They are and instead of closing the bunker shields as impact is imminent, they take these unidentified refugees and make it in just in time. Earlier on, Nathan made a remark about how ‘life flashes before your eyes when you will die’. Once the family arrive underground and are instructed to brace as a countdown from 30 begins, a montage of cinematic shots of the family from previous years plays. I predict that they would cut off the film before the impact as most of these films do. I am pleasantly surprised when they don’t and cut to black, with a time-skip nine months later. First contact is made as a plea is called out: “This is Greenland base, is anyone there? This is Greenland base, please respond if anyone is there”. As these messages are repeated, we are given shots of the post-apocalyptic world. Destroyed cities and twisted landmarks, devoid of all life. It cuts black, we expect the film to end when we are greeted with: “Helsinki, we read you, not clearly though.”, and with this, more bases check-in. Buenos Aires remarks that it is “good to be alive”. The gates open, without any air tests, and everyone comes into shot. Not much has changed appearance-wise, they wait for a minute as two birds come into shot. They’ve survived somehow. All are then instructed that it is ‘safe to go’, as they all step out into the sunlight. Forget radiation poisoning, as long as the sky is clear am I right?


All in all, this film was very good cinematically, the shots and visuals were amazing at times, but it was let down by writing in areas, with some parts feeling like filler, or rushed. Some characters were casted to their roles perfectly, but two that stood out the most were Roger Dale Floyd (Nathan) and Scott Glenn (Grandpa Dale). Overall, I'd put it at 7/10. Greenland is 15 Rated and available for free to watch on Amazon Prime Video.