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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

If I Had a Hammer

Greenland on IMDb

Plot Overview

hard hatted workersJohn Garrity (Gerard Butler) is a structural engineer (“I build bridges”) in Atlanta, Georgia. He's got a nice house in the burbs and a pretty wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) in a seperate bedroom. One day he receives a presidential notification (“selecting people based on their professions”) via amber alert for emergency relocation. He's to report to Robbins AFB with his wife and their seven-year-old son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd.) His science-minded neighbor Ed Pruitt (Gary Weeks) fills him in on an approaching comet. Ed's black wife Peggy (Tracey Bonner) figures she's left out if they're not taking everyone. The gates at the base are guarded by a racial mix of military volunteers who aren't going them­selves. The entrance is swarmed by a (mostly) White crowd figuring to get in regardless. The stores are being looted (predominately) by blacks (“Take every­thing.”) The churches are full: New Hope Road Baptist Church with black congregants and Providence Baptist Church with White. We shall over­come. Every man for himself. Whatever.

sunflowersThrough a series of mis­steps our lucky trio “lost each other at the air­field.” John is built like a scrapper and his Scottish accent guarantees he'll get in one, seeking trans­port with some xenophobes. Allison is slim, polite, and attractive. Her father Dale (Scott Glenn) calls her “Sun­flower.” She evokes cooperation. Between the two of them, they just might make it by an alternate routeFantasy Island
Express if they join forces and pull together.


John's father-in-law Dale has some pointed words for him when they meet up sans his wife: “She told me you were moving back. Let me guess, you had another fight. … I don't fold when things get rough. Every marriage goes through sh!t. That don't mean you get to jump into another woman's bed.” In another conver­sation, between John and Allie, we learn that when he'd first met his prospective mother-in-law, she'd dressed up in a kilt for this Scottish guy. She was of a mind to fit into a man's world in a way that would please him. She was likely a good influence on Dale as well, helping him do his best “when things got rough.” We can add this one to a series of movies in which a good woman brings out the best in her man, starting with a silent movie mentioned in an Edward Wright novel, “a Western … starring William S. Hart. … It was Hell's Hinges. … The Hart character is a bad man, a gun­fighter, who has a spark of decency that responds to the love of a preacher's daughter” (193.)

As for the younger couple, Allie allows that, “I'm just as much to blame about us,” but John owns up saying, “No matter how bad it got, I crossed a line and you didn't.” By comparison with the movie “Sex and the City,” when Miranda stopped being pretty and sexy for her husband Steve, he found relief elsewhere, where­upon Miranda left him though he was sorry enough and vowed it wouldn't happen again. We're not given the details wrt John & Allie, but we can figure out the generalities.

A female radio announcer in Rochester says everything is burning south of them, and she quotes (Rev. 8:10-11) from the New International Version (NIV), “The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky … the name of the star is worm­wood.” That contrasts with the King James Version (KJV) more common in Dale's day, which says, “burning as it were a lamp.” Webster defines “lamp : a vessel with a wick for burning an inflammable liquid (as oil) to produce artificial light.” It's a gender-neutral object that sits passively and lights a room. Webster defines “torch : a flaming light made of some­thing that burns brightly (as resinous wood) and usu. carried in the hand.”right hand Since a torch is a tool (carried by hand) usually wielded by a male, we can't call it gender-neutral and in this cataclysmic application it makes men the bad guy, their tool falling hard—even the comet's got a guy's name Clarke.

Which translation is God's word?It gets worse. Twice in this movie John uses an actual torch. He'll need a torch to light the grill—traditionally the man's job—at a comet watch party, and muscling an unconscious driver out of his slammed vehicle, he catches his sleeve on fire making him­self a human torch. The NIV was copy­righted: 1973, 1978 & 1984, a time when our English language under­went deliberate modification due to problems (some) women had relating to men. Said Rush Limbaugh, “It's almost as if America went through its own feminist Cultural Revolution in the 1970s and early 1980s. Every­thing went mad for about ten years, and only now [1992] are we seeing young people who now view those years as some­what bizarre” (191.) Allie and all readers of the NIV were exposed to a philosophy that was antithetical towards men.

Here in “Greenland” these m–f conflicts are sublimated into a disaster movie. Instead of a rocky marriage being wrecked by an out­side influence, a comet from another solar system targets Earth. It becomes analogous to, (Prov. 5:3-6)

     ‘For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb,
     and her mouth is smoother than oil:
     but her end is bitter as wormwood,
     sharp as a two-edged sword.
     Her feet go down to death:
     her steps take hold on hell.
     Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life,
     her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.’

rotating earthThere was a lot of smooth talking (“Looks pretty cool, huh”) when astronomers discovered an exciting new comet headed our way (“We'll be able to see this thing in broad day­light,”) but in the end it sucked and the survivors have a devastated world to rebuild. The repercussions for the hurting couple are, “It's just gonna take some time and effort from the both of us.” It is said, “Clarke's fragment trail is so long it stretches beyond what astronomers can see.” Same for John's infidelity: “I'm gonna have to live with that for the rest of my life.”

Production Values

” (2020) was directed by Ric Roman Waugh. It was written by Chris Sparling. It stars Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, Scott Glenn and Roger Dale Floyd. It boasts good performances by the two leads. It had a rather good ensemble of actors & actresses. Even Floyd the child actor held his own.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for intense sequences of disaster action, some violence, bloody images and brief strong language. The comet's name Clarke is a tribute to the late Arthur C. Clarke, author of the 1993 novel, The Hammer of God, in which is described a planet-killing asteroid hitting the Earth. It was filmed in Iceland to get the greenery attributed to Greenland in an historical cartog­rapher's faux pas. The CGI and special effects were convincing. The story­line was plausible enough.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

pilotI rather liked it for the family drama it portrayed, a very realistic plane crash, deadly sky works that are moderated not to make us jump, and the way the plot weaves through the lives of three separated characters until they all reunite. Some­body took a chance not following a set formula, and it paid off in my book. Under the circumstances the sporadic strong language can be forgiven. A back­handed tribute is paid to family values. Would God the lessons presented in this movie were widely assimilated.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Where indicated, scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software, print.

Limbaugh, Rush. The Way Things Ought To Be. New York: Pocket Books, 1992. Print.

  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Print.

Webster's New Students Dictionary. Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam Co. 1974. Print.

Wright, Edward. While I Disappear. Copyright © 2004 by Edward Wright. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2004. Print.