5/10 Disaster movies can be a lot of fun if you simply turn off your brain and enjoy the spectacle. Roland Emmerich has made a career out of it. While “Greenland” has a few things going for it, it is the disaster elements that actually lack here and with a two hour run time, you can feel the lack of spectacle. Emmerich movies like “The Day After Tomorrow” or “2012” do some globetrotting while we witness various cities and historical landmarks all over the world being destroyed in entertaining ways. Humans come secondary to the mayhem, which hurts the overall quality of the movies but make them fun to watch. “Greenland” has the opposite problem. Not that the characters are super well developed or deep, but our leading couple comprised of Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin actually have character arcs and some surprisingly strong development. It is enough to anchor us to them emotionally and care about what happens to them. There are problems with the script but who the characters are is well done. As for what didn’t work with the characters, many of them make the dumbest decisions possible like a horny teenager in a horror film. Our protagonists’ son is also an annoying character who only serves to cause problems and make things harder on his parents. The psycho in me was rooting for his death but in this kind of movie, you know it sadly just isn’t in the cards. The script also has the US military setting up emergency tents/shelters with FEMA in a short amount of time and as someone who was in the US military for five years, I can promise you that if the world were virtually ending in 48 hours, it would be total chaos, most of the military would go AWOL to go be with family and loved ones and there wouldn’t be a fraction of the order portrayed in this movie. They give way too much credit to how governments and militaries would react to the disaster. Finally, as I hinted at earlier, the disaster elements pale in comparison to other disaster films. The only disaster scenes we get are chunks of meteors raining down on Earth. In each scene where that happens, the results are the same so it becomes repetitive and there are no variations with the disaster like there was in “2012” where you get earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, etc. There are only a few scenes with the debris raining down and while the tension is there, you will be pretty sure which characters are safe and which ones aren’t. The lacking disaster elements and characters making asinine decisions takes away from what worked. Besides the character arcs, the actors do a fine job with the material and Baccarin in particular is great. Most of the visuals look strong and the pacing works so you are entertained the entire time. The movie also hints at the break down of society as people loot stores and turn on each other, which feels both realistic and timely with events of the past few years. A mediocre movie that fails to live up to the spectacle or eye candy of other disaster movies but one with some strong characters that you can still find enjoyment in if you set your expectations accordingly.

#GreenScreen / #CometHasFallen / #InRetreatment / #GreenHomeland / #CourageUnderFirestorm / #CometMeBro

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