With the world poised to suffer the fate of immolation by the red-hot remnants of an errant comet, the government earmarks a select group of civilians, based on their occupations, to evacuate their families to Greenland and begin rebuilding the wreckage. Among the chosen: John Garrity (Gerard Butler), a structural engineer with a semi-estranged wife (Morena Baccarin) and a diabetic son (Roger Dale Floyd) refused access at the air base. (Kids with a chronic condition have no place in the new order.) A solid, modestly-budgeted B-grade disaster picture that never tries to be something that it isn’t by either spouting obvious messages or bowing at the altar of technology to drive its narrative. If anything, the effects take a back seat to the characters — the film’s sole blockbuster scene is held until the end, where it belongs. The biggest casualty is Hope Davis, a talented actress done in by a thankless role and lighting that renders her nearly unrecognizable. In his second pairing with Butler, writer-director (and former stuntman) Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch, Angel Has Fallen) doesn’t bring much in the way of “new” to the project, but to his credit, the thought never crossed my mind while watching the picture. With Scott Glenn, once again proving he has the right stuff as John’s ever-agitated father-in-law. (2020) — Scott Marks
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