San Andreas is an incredible special effects driven destruction thriller, with a lot of action but not a lot of realism. The CGI destruction was incredible, but the story was lost which cheesy line after cheesy line.
Playing off as a more earthquake than snow version of The Day After Tomorrow, San Andreas does not disappoint in terms of special effects (apart from a perfectly awkward flipping car in the opening scene) but lacks dialogue motivation, which, with this type of movie matters about as much as Dwayne Johnson’s shirt changes.
Don’t get me wrong, I was thoroughly entertained by San Andreas, and will watch it again when I have my next disaster movie marathon before I re-watch 2012, Armageddon, Titanic & Independence Day, because it was GREAT for what it was it: a disaster movie Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
If you want to watch, rather than read my review of San Andreas, enjoy!
But if you expect an intelligent, well-written disaster movie with smart dialogue and a deep back story, look elsewhere.
San Andreas is a lot of fun & destruction with Dwayne Johnson playing as much of a superhero as he can to save his ex-wife & daughter.
The movie plays out as such: Dwayne Johnson is a rescue-chopper pilot who, when the most dangerous earthquake hits San Andreas, makes his most dangerous rescue yet – at the beginning they subtly mention he’s saved over 600 lives – saving his ex-wife & daughter: Emma & Blake.
TheSecondTake’s Review: 7/10
San Andreas did not disappoint.
First off, Dwayne Johnson. Secondly, the action, the special effects, the life-saving moments and even the heroic acts of Ben & Ollie, pushed this movie into a disaster thriller of it’s own sub-genre: Disaster Thriller/Hero.
The one & only thing that lost the movie were the lines. The lines could be perfectly placed or so cheesy you forgot they were trying to survive and you just took a minute to get back into it.
Exhibit A – Lawrence (Paul Giamatti)
Paul Giamatti plays a seismologist that figures out that the earthquake will be the biggest one ever, and that people should be warned – a news reporter that’s with him at the time truns & says “Who should we call?”, he responds with “Everyone.”
In just about every disaster movie ever, where someone has figured out that they could save millions of people by warning them that doom is coming, they always say: “Everyone” to this question. It would’ve had more of an impact if the line wasn’t so cheesy.
Alright, just to keep this fair, I want to give points to Paul Giamatti because the way he acted (through out the film) was spot on, but come on, that line is ridiculous.
Exhibit B – Ray (Dwayne Johnson)
The opening scene has a questionable car flip that we’ll just move past because the line Ray says when asked (by that same reporter) if he really did save “600 lives?” – “I was just doing my job, ma’am”, is way more off-putting. Albeit a foreshadow of heroism, this line is so over-used it hurt.
You don’t say – it’s not like saving 600 people in your career ad a rescue pilot is an incredible feat, oh wait, yes it is. That’s downright amazing, and he just smirks & plays it cool. Almost too cool, while also using a repeatable line from any other rescue/hero character that foreshadows how incredible at their job they are…
SPOILERS, Dwayne Johnson survives – you probably could’ve guessed that. But when those left (not saying who else survives), look over the destruction of San Andreas/what’s left and someone says: “What now?” Dwayne Johnson gazes over the city, as a helicopter flies to the horizon, an America flag drops from a high point and says “We rebuild.”
He’s part of the L.A. Fire & Rescue – shouldn’t he be helping save people in his helicopter at that point? Also, he’s from Los Angeles – why would he be rebuilding anything? That’s not even his home.
None of the characters live there – the two boys were from England, Emma & Blake (mother & daughter) live in the step-dad/boyfriend’s incredible L.A. mansion, while Ray lives on his own (also in L.A.).
Exhibit C – Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd)
A bit of a rant about this character, but everything he said bothered me.
Daniel is the current boyfriend of Emma (Ray’s soon to be ex-wife), and from the first scene he was in my bad books. We first meet him as Ray goes to his house to pick up his daughter Blake and drive her to college, to meet Daniel for the first time & learn that Blake & Emma are moving into his house. But, the first earthquake hits and Ray is called in to work, at that point, Daniel offers to drive Blake. Seems harmless and polite, but driving his daughter off to college was the highlight of Ray’s week, maybe even year, and the snobby, rich new boyfriend just stepped right in front of him. Daniel flies her to his building downtown, where he has a quick business meeting, and admits on the plan ride that the buildings are the reason he never had kids – because he was busy raising them…
Exhibit D – Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt)
Ben meets Blake while waiting for a job interview at Riddick tower, and goes to save after he over-hears that Daniel left her in the parking garage under a lot of rubble. Impressed by his & his little brother’s heroic actions in the garage, she teams up with them to survive together.
They end up in one of the towers Daniel built and are climbing level to level all while the water levels are rising and the building is sinking into the ground, and there’s a point where Blake gets trapped underwater, and the two boys climb the stairs without her, going almost two full levels before Ben gets his brothers to safety and then tells him he’s going back for Blake. It’s been almost a full 3 minutes since they left the floor Blake was on, what are the chances they’d even find her? The wording was so heroically cheesy that it wasn’t even a sign of heroism at that point, it was dull.
What are your thoughts on San Andreas? Are you going to see it this weekend?
6/2/2015 – 11:10 pm