San Andreas Movie Review

San Andreas Movie Review
The movie opens up with a young girl driving along a mountainous road doing everything she shouldn’t be doing; driving while reaching in the back seat to find her phone and reading text messages. Cars are headed toward her and the audience swerves as we imagine her crashing head on into another vehicle. Her bad driving habits while keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, however, pales in comparison to what is about to happen.

We quickly speed through the storyline. Ray (Dwayne Johnson), a rescue-chopper pilot is served with divorce papers from his wife. His wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), has taken their daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), and moved in with Daniel, the mom’s ultra-rich new boyfriend. Daniel has a huge architecture firm. As the quakes start, Ray is called in to duty and Daniel offers to take Blake to college. Somehow, Blake ends up waiting in the lobby of Daniel’s business where she meets two adorable young brits, Ben, who is applying for a job and his precocious brother Ollie.

While all this is going on, the San Andreas Fault is acting up (after all, it is the title of the movie). Lawrence (Paul Giamatti), a Cal Tech professor, thinks he can predict the earthquakes (remember the movie Tornado?) and manages to broadcast out a warning. Bring into the mix the important backstory of Ray, Emma and their deceased daughter, and you’ve got the making of a fast moving, out-of-control story. The story finally starts to become less fragmented to focus on three issues - Ray and Emma's dangerous, cross-county, “plane, train and automobile” style trek to find their daughter, the never-ending San Andreas disaster and the Cal Tech professor’s warning system discovery.

I usually list the great movie moments first, but this movie lent itself to reporting the other way around.

Not-so-great movie moments:

Many of the special effects in the firm were so fake, it was actually laughable. It was like something out of 1990 B-rated movie.

The dialogue was stilted. I spent much of the film waiting for the punch line.

A tsunami hits and the building that Blake, Ben and Ollie have taken refuge in, is sinking. The ending of the movie was so predictable that they didn’t really need to finish the movie.

The entire story line was disjointed and dysfunctional. I think there must have been a lot of the movie left lying on the cutting room floor.

I wasn’t a fan favorite of Ioan Gruffudd, who played Daniel Riddick, it looked like he was still wearing his eyeliner from the Fantastic 4 movies.

Great movie moments;

Despite the fail of many of the special effects, this movie had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Even the audience screamed, cheered and audibly held their breath during many of the action scenes. The concrete slabs falling on office workers and pedestrians were so fake, yet when it happened I jumped out of my seat each time.

Where the special effects didn’t quite make the grade, the action scenes were outstanding. The roof top scene with Emma running to the helicopter to escape the crumbling building was one of the scenes shown in the trailer. That scene actually lived up to all of the hype.

While it may seem like I didn’t like the film because of the cheesy special effects, the stilted dialogue and the very disjointed storyline, I actually give this film a four out of five starts for the intense action scenes. Definitely a movie to see on the big screen first or could it be I was just as confused as the movie?


Director: Brad Peyton

Rating: PG-13. I guess as long as the blood didn’t splatter when the concrete chunks fell on people, it doesn’t need an R rating.

Run time: 114 minutes

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