Each stars are so famend for his or her cinematic tics we’ve come to anticipate them.
For Cage, meaning taking part in an exaggerated model of himself — actually. Butler additionally leans into his persona by starring in generic romps like “[Fill in the Blank] Has Fallen” and “Den of Thieves.”
Not this time, although.
Butler’s “Greenland” provides one thing totally different, however his followers might lengthy for the ol’ swagger lengthy earlier than the respectable however tame thriller wraps.
Butler performs John Garrity, a constructing contractor (don’t giggle) attempting to work although a trial separation along with his spouse, Allison (Morena Baccarin). Their cut up will get pushed apart when the news severely underestimates the severity of an approaching comet storm.
Dubbed Clarke, the sequence of house projectiles doesn’t fritter away harmlessly within the ambiance. It hits earth — laborious. That leaves John and Allison scrambling to guard their younger son, Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd), from the worst of humanity in disaster.
“Greenland” may have leaned tougher into the federal government conspiracy on the coronary heart of the story. Somebody clearly knew Clarke wasn’t simply one thing to speak about on social media. It’s why John acquired a message asking him to deliver his household, and his specific set of architectural abilities, to a authorities rendezvous level.
Nor does the movie rework John into one other Butler-sized motion hero. His character is simply an overwhelmed dad and husband, and when John must throw down the outcomes aren’t what we anticipate.
Boy, is that refreshing.
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“Greenland” has its share of implausible moments, but it surely’s not as guffaw-inducing as your common Roland Emmerich catastrophe. Director Ric Roman Waugh (“Snitch,” “Angel Has Fallen”) has a lot much less cash to burn, for starters, so he retains the main focus tight on John and Allison.
That pushes catastrophe film tropes principally out of the body. Largely. So why isn’t “Greenland” extra entertaining?
John’s clan is in close to fixed hazard, however what we course of is extra dread than pleasure. A much better instance of the “household in peril” style got here with the grossly unsung “No Escape.”
Right here, the motion is modest at finest and so is the leisure degree. You’ll be able to admire the sober storytelling and the way devoted these dad and mom are to their youngster. You received’t get wherever close to the sting of your seat, although.
The screenplay, whereas by no means embarrassing, doesn’t enable the type of character improvement to offset its flaws. A late look by Scott Glenn provides hope, but it surely by no means materializes. Glenn is there to maneuver the plot alongside, not prick our feelings.
Nonetheless, “Greenland” provides a unique facet to Butler. He’s not an excellent actor, however he captures the panic and love a father has for his household. Perhaps it’s his means of claiming he received’t be taking part in an exaggerated model of himself anytime quickly.
HiT or Miss: “Greenland” is each smarter and smaller than you anticipate, however the end-of-the-world thriller lacks the mandatory sizzle.