Greenland Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Pros: the main character who does not influence the cause of the disaster; emphasis on general panic; eventful Cons: very boring start; there are long-familiar clichés “Greenland” / Greenland

Genre action, fantasy
Directed by Rick Roman Waugh
Cast: Gerard Butler (John Garrity), Morena Baccarin (Alison Garrity), Roger Dale Floyd (Nathan Garrity), Scott Glenn (Clayton), David Denman (Ralph Vento), Hope Davis (Judy Vento), Andrew Batchelor (Nathan), Gary Weeks (Thomas), Claire Bronson (Debra), Merryn Dungey (Major Breen), etc.
Studios G-BASE, Anton, Riverstone Pictures
Year of release 2020
IMDb website

According to the plot of the film, a comet is approaching the Earth. People around the world are watching the fall of small fragments of an interstellar object, waiting for a spectacular spectacle on live television. After the first shock wave, which destroys an entire village, the audience panics. The media reports that in a matter of hours, other giant debris will completely destroy the planet. It appears that the US government has long been aware of and prepared for the coming catastrophe. And even more – the authorities have identified a select few who will be transported to a secret bunker. Among them is John (Gerard Butler), who is trying to move his family to a safe place, which turns out to be extremely difficult due to the general chaos.

The beginning of “Greenland” seems incredibly boring and hackneyed. The writers intend to show as clearly as possible the situation within the protagonist’s family and give him a brief description of a stumbled, but at the same time reliable person, ready to overcome any obstacles for the sake of his loved ones. Something like this has happened on screen a thousand times, so the premise is not at all inspiring.

But as soon as the comet fragments reach the ground, the film noticeably comes to life. The creators’ main bet is that the viewer will associate themselves with the central characters who are desperately trying to save their family. It works better here than in other disaster films – before us are ordinary people who are unable to influence external factors.


In this, “Greenland” turns out to be more successful than “Geostorm” – a science fiction film in which Gerard Butler also played the main role. In Geostorm, Butler played a tough weather-correction system coordinator who saved the world while hanging out in space. In “Greenland,” the actor’s character, although it seems banal, turns out to be more real thanks to his paternal instinct.


The film was directed by Rick Roman Waugh, who had already worked with Gerard Butler on the action film Angel Has Fallen. In “Greenland”, Rick Roman Waugh does not place any emphasis on high-ranking people handling the situation from their offices. It shows crowds of uncontrollable people falling into panic, driven by the every-minute fear of death (and, of course, the desire to plunder all the nearby supermarkets). Ironically, they can sometimes be more dangerous than the approaching interstellar threat.


Since then, when flares light up the sky and anarchy begins on the ground, Greenland has maintained a tense atmosphere. Again, this works well because of the direct associations with oneself in a similar situation, when it is scary to lose loved ones in a crowd, and even worse not to be able to contact them. To make it even more worrying, the scriptwriters added an almost helpless child to the plot, so you will have to worry twice about everyone.


To its credit, there are no downtime or pauses in the film after the beginning. Apart from the cliché inserts about family reconciliation, events follow one after another. If you wish, you can find fault with something else – the way the fragments of an interstellar comet fly, selectively setting fire to an entire city, or simply hitting cars on the highway. Also, during explosions, sometimes not the most ideal graphics are noticeable, but given the small budget of the film, everything is in order.


Greenland, like any other disaster film, follows a certain set of clichés. Despite this, the film’s events are gripping and manage to maintain suspense, keeping you engaged in the story.


a disaster film in which the viewer can associate themselves with the main characters saving the family.

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