This review contains mild spoilers
Disaster movies have never been easy. Either they try too hard on the visual effect but the script or forget the logic but superfluous plot, mostly we find them fail, thus disappoint. Pretty much did we think San Andreas directed by Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) would stumble upon the same disastrous legacy, fortunately, it’s not that much like the rest (remember 2012?).
San Andreas is quaky enough to shake our heart with the family drama contained within. We also personally praise the act of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who apparently gives his in and out, physically and mentally, to portray Ray. Supported by co-star ladies; Carla Gugino (Watchmen, Sin City), playing the hot momma and Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson) as a sexy daughter, Johnson shines and becomes the only one they can rely on.
However, we also know that even Johnson would love to play this role off limit, he just can’t. Johnson is charismatic, comedic, lovely, and of course, muscular, but we find him troubled playing a headstrong, painful, and such an out-of-luck character like this.
His expression still hints that even a 9.6 massive earthquake hits much of California and San Francisco, everything will just be okay if you equip yourself with tons of live-saving skills like him. The only painful part is only when he recalls her first daughter’s death, also a major climax scene with Daddario which at least finally embraces our tears.
Johnson plays Ray Gaines, a LAFD (Los Angeles Fire Department) rescue pilot who is in the midst of separation with his wife, Emma (Gugino). As they’re still actually meant to be, the earthquake hits the building where Emma is in. Emma calls Ray and he comes to rescue. Seemingly to reconcile, especially after knowing that Daniel (Emma’s new boyfriend played by Ioan Gruffudd) leaves Blake (Daddario) stuck in the parking basement, we know this family will play a drama which either harmonizes or competes the major catastrophe premise.
Then come these supporting characters, Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and Ollie (Art Parkinson), whose duty is to accompany Daddario most of her appearance in this movie. Playing some romance and teenage chit-chat, little do this trio know that they actually bring down the potential tension.
More Sensible for Gullible Audience
We know that the end of the world is a real deal but squeezing the large scale impact into a 2-hour running time (read : 2012) isn’t wise though. Lucky we see San Andreas learn quite from past failure and that’s probably why this movie is named so. Specifically on San Andreas Fault and some of its neighborhood, this movie comes with more sensible plot, especially for gullible audience.
In the end, what ever happens after these 2 cities are predictable and reasonable enough. Pretty scientific if the quake might have a chain reaction to other continents sooner or later. And the good news is it doesn’t have to be now which leaves us with some sort of fright in case it once happens for real.
A Suitable Family Cast Members
Johnson, Gugino, and Daddario are suitable cast members to play Gaine little family. Although the last two haven’t been prominent names in movie industry, both pull their roles off quite well, and surprisingly counterbalance Johnson’s masculine energy.
Although not much heartfelt conversation among the three we find, we are touched enough by seeing the casualties and the damage caused by the earthquake (although they are actually in CGI). Nothing left but the cities being wiped out by tsunami and now becomes massive debris. Not a kind of our weekend booster type but if you long to see how shaky a 9.6 earthquake is, you should give this movie a chance.
Director: Brad Peyton
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti
Duration: 114 mins