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85. Greenland; movie review

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Title : 85. Greenland; movie review
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Cert 15
119 mins
BBFC advice: Contains brief strong violence, threat

"I swear, I will get us into those bunkers. But if we’re going to go, we got to go now."
Was I meant to be sniggering at Gerard Butler's machismo as the world was coming to an end?
To be fair, his characters have beaten myriad natural disasters and all sorts of evil terrorists in recent years so why should he be fazed by an 'extinction-level event'.
Mind you, in this movie, he is just meant to be an architect as opposed to a musclebound secret service operative.
Anyway, he can't save the world this time and he even has his work cut out to protect his wife (Morena Baccarin) and son, Roger Dale Floyd from a seismic catastrophe.
The adults have been having marriage problems but they are nothing compared to when it transpires that Comet Clarke (named after Arthur C.) is on a collision course with earth.
Our hero, John Garrity, receives a 'presidential message' saying he and his family should go to a military airbase for immediate evacuation.
But, the golden ticket for a plane to Greenland turns out to be something of a curse.
Suffice to say that the next 24 hours is literally a battle between life and death for the family and, indeed, the rest of the world.
Yep, the very fact that they are competing with every American citizen for a place in these survival pods would make it almost impossible, you would think.
But, while Ric Roman Waugh's film focuses on desperation and jealousies, I don't think it goes nearly far enough.
It also runs out of steam, leaving the door ajar for some classic Butlerisms and a resolution which is far too easy.
As with almost any disaster movie, its premise is preposterous on several levels (there is a scene in which small molten fragments pepper the earth like a machine gun from heaven but the rocks would have disintegrated in the atmosphere because of their size.)
But who cares about facts when Butler is on the scene with his square jaw and bit-of-rough Scottish accent.
The film's saving grace is that, because cinemas are closed, we haven't been fed our usual diet of crash-bang-wallop nonsense and at this precise moment of lockdown I required some no-brain-needed downtime.
It must have caught me in a moment of weakness to give a Butler hero film 6/10.

Reasons to watch: If you are a Gerard Butler devotee
Reasons: The usual implausibilities

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 6/10

Did you know?
A comet less than 100 meters across would explode high in the atmosphere and probably do no harm to the earth. If the comet is 10 kilometres across or larger the resulting global environmental damage would be so extensive that it would lead to mass extinction, in which most life forms would die. This is what happened 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous era when the dinosaurs went extinct. 

The final word. Gerard Butler: "It was so human, taking it from the lens of a family just trying to survive. There was something so vulnerable and honest and authentic about it, like if this were really to happen, this is how it would play out in all its messiness and glory and the waiting and the mistakes and the forgotten things and the not getting in -- all of that." UPI


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