San Andreas: Film Review

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San Andreas is a big, ambitious disaster movie on an epic scale that we haven’t seen since Roland Emmerich’s 2012 back in 2009. I personally had not seen one focussed solely on earthquakes and I had learned loads about the San Andreas Fault in school so I was gripped, despite it being very by the book.

Dwayne Johnson is Ray, a Los Angeles Fire and Rescue helicopter pilot in the middle of a divorce. He and his former wife Emma (Carla Gugino) must travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco to rescue their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) after a series of earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault erupt, with the largest ever recorded in history, a 9.6 magnitude quake, set to hit San Fran. We follow Ray and Emma on their travels, plus Blake and her new English tourist buddies Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and Ollie (Art Parkinson) trying to survive and scientist Paul Giamatti, who predicted the whole thing and needs to use reporter Serena (Archie Panjabi) to get the word out.

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I guessed the main beats of the movie within the first 15 minutes. Disaster movies are generally focused on a family with issues, who come together in the face of adversity etc and this stays faithful to the tried and tested formula. Giamatti is clearly the scaremonger, who ramps up the stakes by predicting total destruction but there were a few characters who stood out for me. I’ve never rated Johnson much as an actor, but his support cast were awesome. Gugino’s character was very vulnerable and human, Blake was very smart and no damsel in distress and Ben and Ollie provide great comic relief.

However, some characters were given very clichéd and wooden, cheesy dialogue, especially Johnson and Ioan Gruffudd, who plays Emma’s new boyfriend. Kylie Minogue’s cameo was completely jarring and I could never believe her character at all. Some of the destruction went a bit overboard and seemed unrealistic and some of the set pieces were laughable because there is no way it could happen (keep an eye out for the tsunami). Also, the final scene will make everyone who isn’t an American patriot laugh out loud. Despite all that, I enjoyed the whole damn thing, the CGI was amazing, I really liked some of the characters and I have to applaud the ambitious, epic scale.

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San Andreas is no better than my disaster movie favourites Dante’s Peak, Twister and Deep Impact but compared to modern-day CGI-heavy ones likes 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow, it does stand out and is very entertaining.

In cinemas now 


SEE ALSO:

Coverage from the San Andreas premiere

Comments

  1. Awesome post.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Andreas was released in cinemas this week (read my review) and it is all about the biggest earthquake ever registered on the Richter scale. It is big, epic […]

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