By DOUG NORRIE | February 12, 2021
Gerard Butler has faced his share of emergencies and disasters on-screen throughout his career. Heck, he’s been part of almost uncountable Presidential assassination plots alone, having to navigate the world of domestic and international terrorism like other people wake up and go to their 9-5 job. But in his latest movie, which is crushing on streaming right now, he’s facing a whole other threat. This one is fixing to wipe humans off the face of the Earth. Check out Greenland which is blowing up on Netflix right now.
In Greenland, Gerard Butler plays John Garrity, a mild-mannered engineer just trying to raise his family in the South. Everything is just your normal day-to-day suburban life until there’s word that a comet (Clarke) is going to make a near-pass to Earth. But as the comet gets closer the threat increases and now the world is looking to be in increasing peril because of the fragments making impact. This leads to mass hysteria and Butler is tasked with getting his family to safety. Here, check out the trailer for Greenland.
What we get in Greenland is your standard disaster-film fare, but executed really well. There’s increasing destruction from the comet sizes and impacts growing more devastating as the film progresses. This leads to what we usually see in these kinds of movies: waves of people seeking shelter and safety with a government that possibly doesn’t have its citizens’ full interests in mind. The movie takes its title from the country where fallout shelters are being constructed to house the last remnants of the human race while the comets destroy the planet. It’s Butler’s mission to get his family there.
Greenland turns out to be a pretty solid film even if the premise is a little worn out at this point. It’s sitting at 78% through 136 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics are praising it for keeping the tension levels way high as the world’s future looks increasingly bleak. And Gerard Butler has earned more than a few superlatives for his role in the film. Unlike previous iterations for the actor, in this one, critics found him to be a believable and flawed dad who’s playing the “everyman” well. They were complimentary of his style in how he works to protect his family through insurmountable odds.
Even in a world of pandemic-related theater closings, Greenland managed to actually turn a little profit at the box office. On a $35 million budget which is impressive considering the amount of huge special effects, the film brought back $47 million in out-of-US ticket sales. In the *old days* this would have been nothing to write home about. But in the current world film order, making any money back is a pretty impressive feat. This is especially solid considering that the movie was shot and planned before the pandemic hit.
Along with Gerard Butler, director Ric Roman Waugh deserves a lot of credit here as well. The movie’s action sets and feeling of impending doom play well for a premise, again, that’s been done many times before. The director has also helmed movies like Snitch and Shotcaller.
This isn’t the first Gerard Butler film that’s dealt with disaster events. That was 2017’s Geostorm in which the global threat is coming from inside the house. In this one, the world is being threatened by the fallout from global warming and the government designs a set of satellites that can control the world’s climate and weather systems. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work. Neither did the movie which bombs with critics.
Gerard Butler has also been embroiled in more than a few attempts on the President’s life in his … Has Fallen franchise. Those include Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen and Angel Has Fallen. Next up will be Night Has Fallen. This silly, but entertaining franchise has totaled more than $550 million in box office sales through its first three movies. He and Waugh worked together on Angel and will again on Night.
Next up for Gerard Butler, other than the aforementioned Night Has Fallen is Cop Shop about a standoff at a local police station. Then there will be Remote Control about a government conspiracy and finally Den of Thieves 2: Pantera. Butler continues to lean into the roles that he plays best, high-action, rough and tumbling characters who take down the bad guys in short order. Now’s a chance to catch him in a slightly different role against a much bigger threat. Check out Greenland on Netflix now.