While ESP’s film critic Gavin Miller can’t get to the movies he’s watching at home and giving you his verdict on what’s showing on the small screen instead…
The latest ‘earth-killing’ asteroid thriller actually proves to be better than expected – especially as it boasts action star Gerard Butler.
To be fair – even though due to his action background subtlety may not be one of his best assets – Butler is always pretty good value (with the Fallen trilogy etc), and here he re-teams with Angel Has Fallen director Ric Roman Waugh to provide a more of a ‘thinker’ apocalyptic flick, that has a few noteworthy twists and turns.
Put it this way, there’s no Bruce Willis or Robert Duvall rocketing towards the comet supplying movie-goers with over-the-top superhuman like feats – like with 1998’s double header of Armageddon versus Deep Impact. Which were both enjoyable in their own ‘leave your brain at the door’ kind of way.
Fortunately this has a bit more depth as Butler’s John Garrity, his estranged wife Allison (Deadpool’s Morena Baccarin), and diabetic son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd) – who have been selected for emergency sheltering due to John’s specialist position as a structural engineer – race to get to the location as a near-Earth passing interstellar comet comes closer than predicted. Parts of the alien object are now crashing down on the planet and Earth’s population is now bracing itself for the main body to provide a devastatingly potential apocalyptic impact.
With fragments having already vaporised Tampa and a large chunk of Florida, it’s a race against time for John and his family to reach an air force base in their home state of Georgia, from their Atlanta neighbourhood.
But alas things don’t go to plan as the trio get separated at multiple points – primarily based around desperate folks looking to steal their ‘golden tickets’ for their evacuation flight – and Joe and Allison more than once find themselves in a ‘life or death’ situation as they aim to re-unite to exit the States to one of the designated compounds, including one in the northern Arctic country of Greenland.
And while it doesn’t do anything groundbreaking to reinvent the ‘extinction level event’ sub-genre, it does what it does competently, and in always-watchable fashion, that deserves kudos for not being too ‘ridiculous’.
Ultimately there seems to be a believability to it all that similar movies have brazenly ignored – and for that it ends up being a level above movies of its ilk.
It’s a shame for Butler, who once again throws everything into his role, that Greenland didn’t get its intended cinematic release – as this is up there with one of the best films he’s ever made.
ESP Rating: 3.5/5
Platform: Amazon Prime
Cast: Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, David Denman, Hope Davis, Roger Dale Floyd, Holt Mccallany & Scott Glenn
Running Time: 1 Hr 59 Mins
Director: Ric Roman Waugh