San Andreas Movie Review by the Movie Slackers
As I eluded to on the accompanying video with Robby Rob and our review of San Andreas, the California Board of Tourism is probably not liking this film. Especially in the summer when you actually WANT people to flock to their state to spend gobs of money in the tourist trade. For film goes, this is a staple of the summer; a big, dumb, dopey but entertaining disaster flick with The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) as the hero.This man saves more people in a span of two hours than most men will save in their entire lifetime. That’s okay. This is The Rock!
As with a lot films of this genre, Ray (Johnson) is a helicopter pilot who works for the local emergency services and he flies to save whoever needs saving, on a daily basis. He flies with a crew that are from Ray’s days in the military so they all know each other quite well and are a family. On this certain day, he has a news crew flying along and doing a story on Ray and his crew and it is revealed he has saved A LOT of people. Ray is recently split with his wife, Emma (Carla Gugino) who has now moved in with multi millionaire Daniel Riddick (insert Vin Diesel joke here). Ray is supposed to be meeting his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario) to take her to college, but Mother Nature has other plans. Separated from her real dad when the quake starts, Ray makes it his mission to find his little girl, somewhere in San Francisco. So off he and Emma go in planes, helicopters, automobiles and boats of which there never seems to be a shortage of.
Let me just be clear, San Andreas is not a very original film. It’s predictable, filled with stock characters, clichés and enough cheesy corn to supply the theater lobby for a weekend. But Johnson, Gugino and Daddario carry this film. Paul Giamatti plays Lawrence and he is given a lot of the cornball lines, but he does it well enough that we don’t snicker for very long. Lawrence is a Seismologist who works for Cal Tech, telling his class about the big one, “It is coming. It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when.” When asked who they call when the Earth opens up, “Everybody” is his raspy response. It is a great line and a terrific delivery, as only Giamatti can do. Ironically, he, too, has the same news crew in HIS office that flew with Ray in the beginning of the film. They do get around.
The visuals are stunning in San Andreas. Some have complained that some of the visuals were not too effective. They worked for me, but you be the judge. As for what else worked for me was Dwayne Johnson. He is a fine actor; charismatic, confident, cool and not afraid to show some emotion which he is required to do, here. He pulls it off and convincingly. He has movie star good looks and his massive physique and million dollar smile are command attention to the screen. I also loved Carla Gugino and Alexandra Daddario as mother and daughter. I believed their relationship as parent and daughter and it is not oversold. Not to mention just how stunningly beautiful they both are. Yes, there is a little of something for everyone in San Andreas.
Do I wish the film had been better written? Yes. Do I wish the characters did not seem so familiar from other films of this type? Yes. Did I have fun? Yes. The film is never boring, there is a lot of PG13 carnage, but nothing that will scar the children for life. Director Brad Peyton and script writer, Carlton Cuse (based on the screen story by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore) know exactly what San Andreas is and so does most of the cast. They are all exactly what this film needs and the supporting cast is efficient with Ioan Gruffud as Riddick, Archie Panjabi as the reporter, Hugo Johnstone-Burt as the strapping young lad Blake meets and his brother Ollie (Art Parkinson). They do exactly what their roles require and it all helps, at the end of the day. There is also a great score composed by Andrew Lockington which enhances the film, tremendously.
San Andreas is a hoot, but am I recommending it? Yes and no. If you have not seen Avengers: Age of Ultron and even more importantly Mad Max Fury Road then get them watched, first. Then go see San Andreas; big, bawdy entertainment from start to finish.
San Andreas – rated PG13 for violence, adult situations, scenes of massive destruction and mayhem
San Andreas – Run time is 114 minutes