MOVIE REVIEW: “San Andreas” stars Dwayne Johnson (Snitch, Fast & Furious 6), Carla Gugino (Night at the Museum, Wayward Pines [TV series]), Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Texas Chainsaw 3D), Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four , Titanic ), Paul Giamatti (Sideways, The Illusionist), Hugo Johnstone-Burt (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Goddess), and Art Parkinson (Dracula Untold, The Anomaly). It is directed by Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore) and is written by Carlton Cuse (Lost [TV series], Bates Motel [TV series]), Andre Fabrizio (Vice, The Prince), and Jeremy Passmore (Special, Red Dawn ). When a massive earthquake rattles California sending great destructive and death to its citizens, Ray (Johnson), a rescue-chopper pilot, must save his daughter (Daddario) and ex-wife (Gugino) out of the masses before they end up dead.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, buildings falling down, electricity going out. Is this “2012?” Or every other disaster film for that matter? No, it’s “San Andreas,” the movie that doesn’t really have anything original going for it. When it comes to disaster flicks, I am open to watch any. I know that they are almost all generic, and a lot don’t have anything going for them, like monster films (Gamera, Godzilla), but what pulls me in is the quality of mindless entertainment. I never wanted to go and see “San Andreas” and I thought I wouldn’t get the chance to see it at all until I was able to watch a rental of it last night. What these movies have going for them is the action. The huge paycheck doesn’t go to the script writers, but rather the special and visual effects artists. I couldn’t really find one shot in this film that wasn’t heavily CGI’d. At times it looked cool, and other times it looked cheesy, especially some of the green screens. If you are the type who wants a great script with deep characters, don’t pick this up. These are for the popcorn lovers. Just something to sit through while you stuff your face with buttery goodness. Now, I won’t hate on this movie entirely. Sure, it is cheap in story and the characters hold little weight, but I was entertained. I think I only checked the time once towards the end and throughout I didn’t doze off (and I was tired). There’s a lot of cool action sequences in this. Almost all of them are non-realistic, but what are you going to do? It’s a disaster film so just sit back, unwind, and burn an hour and a half on something that will hold your interest. I will admit, at times this film was good. A few of the characters were interesting (mainly the Rock’s) and some of the acting was pretty good. I couldn’t see this movie ever surviving without Dwayne Johnson as the main role. The guy has a likable presence. There’s just something about him that makes me think “he’d be an awesome guy to hang out with.” He did good in his role and he performed well in the action scenes. Carla Gugino was not too shabby as well, and she was serviceable to her role. Paul Giamatti was great and he was probably the only character opposite of everyone else. He didn’t get as much screen time as I thought he would though. With the movie as a whole, it wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t that good either. The story was predictable most of the time and the characters have been said and done many times in different films. Like I said before, there isn’t much originality in this and some scenes even made me laugh at how over-the-top it was. Whatever disaster situations the writers could think of, they threw it in here and made sure to show each one. That’s the biggest con. If the plot had more originality and some characters to relate to, this would have been a solid release. Any other cons are minor, including goofs throughout the film. I can’t tell you how many times I saw a shot of someone putting their hand on another’s shoulder and then the camera cuts to their hand laying by their side. One minor issue I have to mention that I didn’t before is the character of Daniel (Gruffudd). Why the heck was he in this? Seeing Ioan Gruffudd in this was cool, but his character completely switched from average soon-to-be-step-dad to a “villain.” He was a jerk and why they went back to him a couple of times during the movie made no sense. I didn’t like the character and I found him to be a waste of time. Overall this was an entertaining picture. It’s not that original and it has story issues, but my attention was kept throughout and that’s a plus. FINAL SCORE: 70%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: