San Andreas aka The Rock versus an earthquake.
On the west coast of the USA there is this fault line, and every now again the two tectonic plates either side decided to start rubbing together manically, and the result…. this film apparently.
Dwayne Johnson is a helicopter rescue pilot who, when this humongous earthquake hits, is off to save his wife (soon to be ex played by Carla Gugino) and daughter (Alexandra Daddario travelling with ex’s mega rich new boyfriend) with just a few chasms, falling skyscrapers, dust storms and a tsunami in his way.
I’ll warn you now. This film is as cheesy as fuck. And cliché’d to hell. Every single typical one liner/action sequence is as predictable as you might expect. There’s nothing new here and if you can get past those points and enjoy it for what it was then all the power to you.
I’m going to put it out there, Dwayne Johnson is the best action star around. Yes he is a man mountain but he has always had a sympathetic & emotional side to him, even as far back as Walking Tall and his lil bit in Be Cool you can see he was made for the big screen. The guy has charisma, can act, looks like a tank and has a god damn killer smile. These aspects make him enjoyable to watch and he takes to being a lead man without the ego one has come to expect with past action heroes.
Moving past the fact the Rock would have had to have been 14 to actually have been Daddario’s father, she and her mother play the family members solidly attempting to add a bit of depth to their dynamic. These details do go to some of the characters motivations to why they make the decisions they make but ultimately in the grand scheme of a natural disaster its not of much consequence, but at least they tried. Paul Giamatti is also in this film and I liked his character. His tubby spectacle scatty persona suited the role of seismologist. I’d say apart from when he was asked who they should call now they know another earthquake was going to happen… (his answer… *pause breath*…. *look at camera*… “Everyone…”) he suited it to a T. The problem was his only purpose was to explain away to the audience the ins and outs of earthquakes, fault lines and seismology. I definitely think they missed a trick not giving him more to do.
So the acting and characters were solid but unfortunately the film was too long, the new boyfriend was the biggest cliché of them all and eat up too much screen time, it was very predictable and the finale a bit underwhelming given you have just seen well over an hour of crazy special effects with building tumbling, caverns being cracked open and the earth moving like it’s some sort of water bed. The same impact was just not there and thus feels like you are taken down a notch visually. Also at times it felt like GTA; Dwayne Johnson Edition. His helicopter fails? Take a car. Can no longer use the car? Take a plane. Can’t land the plane? Tandem skydive onto a baseball field, give horribly cheesy one liner about getting to second base and then take a boat.
If you can get past the cheesiness and enjoy it for what it is then you’ll have a good time. Unfortunately for me there were more things wrong than there were right with it. The action was visually entertaining and the acting solid, it was the dialogue and predictability of it that I didn’t think made this one of the better disaster movies.