Greenland

Greenland ★★★

After the hellscape of a year that was 2020, it stands to reason that a disaster movie about a regular guy and his family trying to stay alive as the world goes to shit around them would feel redundant and/or too close to home. Either way, it seems like something that wouldn’t be worth paying for when you can get the real thing for free by looking at your window, turning on the TV, or — and this one is extra fun — just thinking about literally any single aspect of your life as it’s been since March.

And yet it’s precisely because Ric Roman Waugh’s mid-budget “Greenland” eschews Hollywood expectations of its “craggy man vs. a planet-destroying comet” premise and drills in on that human-sized helplessness we’ve all come to know so well that its most effective moments remind us why these movies ever resonated with people in the first place. The universe is a cold and indifferent place where inanimate objects will travel hundreds of thousands of lightyears across the stars just to kill you and everyone you love, but the pathetic smallness of our mortal existence — the silly lives we lead and the people we’re lucky enough to share them with — is precisely what makes them so precious. Maybe that sentiment is too facile to put into words, but it’s just facile enough to build a satisfyingly bone-stupid Gerard Butler vehicle around.

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