Greenland | Chicago Reader
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Greenland

John Garrity (Gerard Butler) is having a bad day: his marriage to Allison (Morena Baccarin) is on the rocks, his son needs regular insulin injections, and a planet-killing comet set to destroy 75 percent of life is streaking towards the Earth. Greenland follows the same model seen in other world-ending romps: introduce the threat, run, dodge death, survive, only this one is more grounded. No Bruce Willis to save the day. There is going to be a big ice hole. What starts as a potentially interesting class narrative on privilege, where people with important skills are hand-picked to survive the coming apocalypse (but not actually save the world), while others are left to die, descends into a tired formulaic plot. The inciting ice-ident comes early, then the story devolves into eye-rollingly boring scenes of trying to get into cars or on planes. After 2020, everyone will recognize the self-seeking chaos, desperate looting, and frequent groans when the TV anchors announce increasingly bad news (“planet killer” is constantly repeated, in case you missed it). Despite the thin plot, and one awful CGI fire, the special effects hit the mark. Butler is a two-dimensional everyman with one goal, saving his family. Baccarin is saddled with the sexist role of disempowered, crying mother. The truth that our selfish human nature leaves us woefully unprepared to save the majority of people in the case of impending disaster, despite our resources and intelligence, is a point no one surviving our current real-life disaster movie needs reminding of.

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