Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars in San Andreas, directed by Brad Peyton. Ray (Dwayne Johnson) is a rescue-helicopter pilot in Southern California who’s going through a recent divorce with wife Emma (Carla Gugino). A renowned rescuer, he’s recorded a record number of saves during his tenure and on this rare occasion asks for a day off to drive his daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) to her volleyball game. The one day he requests off would be the day the biggest natural disaster in California’s history begins to take shape. Paul Giamatti stars as Dr. Lawrence aka “the bearer of bad news” and delivers his message of imminent peril via the Media Department at Cal Tech.
I’m originally from California and the first thought that came to mind was “over the top.” CGI is the name of the game apparently this year, and it, like auto-tune, doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Loads of CGI and over the top collapses, explosions, and ground movement make this film. Not explosions to the point you’d yell out “Michael Bay!” in a crowded room, but enough for you to notice. It’s a great film for 3D and it would be worth the few extra bucks to check it out in a Regal RPX-like setting (comfy chairs, premium sound, and don’t forget 3D). Prepare yourself for the CGI, just a fair warning.
After my heart finished the healing process after the Paul Walker send off in Furious 7, the last thing I needed to see was Will Yun Lee. Initially, I was excited because he wasn’t in Furious 7, just the ending scene. But he only lasted about 15 minutes so the nostalgia wore off quickly. Another sight for sore eyes was Kylie Minogue. But don’t get too excited, her presence is about as short as Lee’s.
If you have never experienced an earthquake don’t take this too seriously. Also, if you’re focusing on the science of the movie, that wouldn’t help either. There’s a lot of ‘Hollywood’ in this movie, hence all the CGI and extraneous mayhem littered in the film. Example: A.D. The Bible Continues featuring characters that weren’t in the Bible; Hollywood. Game of Thrones has tons of scenes, characters, and deaths that weren’t in the book; Hollywood. The greatest example of ‘Hollywood’ you’ll see is a 9.7 magnitude earthquake rock half the state of California. Buildings will crumble, people will vanish, streets will cave in, but with all that being said, an American flag will unravel right on cue to let you know ‘everything will be ok.’
I think the appeal with disaster movies comes from how technology is used to tell the story. For example, in the 90’s we had the movie Twister show us what Hollywood could do with tornadoes given the technology of the time. Then late last year we had Into the Storm which was an updated Twister which boasted HD resolution and CGI. San Andreas will keep you watching as you’ll be itching to see what happens next. It’s the perfect natural disaster to pair with the element of surprise.
San Andreas gets a 7.5 out of 10 for an action-packed thriller. It’s just under 2 hrs. and its PG-13, so you won’t have to worry about anything extreme taking place (limbs being hacked, bloody scenes, etc).