Plot: In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey with his ex-wife across the state in order to rescue his daughter.
General things in Disaster Movies:
The big, strong hero with a sad, sad past:
Check. Dwayne Johnson is Ray, ex-military (major points for that) and also lost a daughter in a drowning incident for which he blames himself – sympathy vote! – He also has incredible muscles and a killer smile, as well as a fuck all attitude except when it comes to his family.
Regardless of his acting abilities, I always enjoy Dwayne Johnson. The Rock knows his target audience and he always ends up delivering. I also find his beautifully straight teeth beautiful, and it is so obvious that he is having the best time when he is on screen it is hard to begrudge him his work.
The Silly Wife Who Dared To Want a Fulfilling Relationship and Now Wants to Leave:
Stupid woman. Why does she dare to want to move on when her husband basically ignored her since their daughter’s death? Pfft.
Carla Gugino, starring as Emma, said SWWDTWFRNWL, did a decent enough job, but it felt that she was only there to act frail to The Rock’s strong leadership. Also – gasp – she was running in heels the entire time – DID THEY NOT LEARN FROM JURASSIC WORLD?!
Beautiful Daughter who Needs Saving
Alexandra Daddario played Blake, and I actually enjoyed the role the most of the entire movie. She saved the day, the two guys that tagged along knew she had the knowledge and afforded her the authority, and even acknowledged at the end that they would be deader than dead without her.
International scope and Kidlet
Colton Haynes plays young professional Joby, who immediately falls in love with Blake’s sunny nature and amazing blue eyes. He is British, acknowledging Ally ties and all that.
Required kid is played by Art Parkinsin, Joby’s little brother Ollie, and although annoying AF he is as tolerable as he can possibly be.
Alexi, played by Alex Utgoff, is included to show Putin that we can all work together if we want to.
The Smart Professor and Hardworking News Anchor
Check and Check. Paul Giammati is the Professor of something in here and Archie Panjabi is the News Anchor that needs to get the news out. Both did well enough, but I think this is where the story went flat.
It is based on actual fact but the whole San Andreas fault line causing such spectacular damage right now is sillier than people who don’t like Harry Potter. It was really smart to localize the disaster to one area rather than the entire planet, and having the San Fransisco Bridge collapse is always a nice touch. The CGI was a bit pathetic, but as that was to be expected, no harm was done. San Andreas has very little humor, not much in the way of real plot development and the biggest failure to me was the university scenes – it felt displaced in the movie. If you look at this movie as a piece of fluff and don’t take San Andreas up too seriously you will end up enjoying it as a cheesy fest full of bulging muscles. Not a bad thing, come to think of it!
PS: Captain Hindsight thinks that this movie has a lot of things in common with both Taken and Lucy. Any comments on that?