Movie Review: San Andreas

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Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Paul Giamatti, Alexandra Daddario, Ioan Gruffudd

Rated PG-13 for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language,93 minutes, Thriller/Action

Compare to: The Day After Tomorrow (2004), 2012 (2009), Into the Storm (2014), Any disaster movie you can think of

When a comedy movie comes out that parodies big-budget Hollywood action movies, this is the movie it has in mind. San Andreas is every action/disaster cliche rolled into an hour and forty-five minutes. Twenty years ago, a musclebound action hero in the role of an average Joe seemed normal. Now it’s feels like my childhood is slapping me in the face.

A lot of people looking for a good time will find it here. I didn’t, but as I’ve been told, I’m “too critical.” Maybe so, but after years of disaster movies where the divorced dad has to save his ex-wife from the lame new guy- I mean, from the natural disaster at hand, why wouldn’t I just watch those again instead of paying for something “new?”

Ray is a superawesome (one word) rescue helicopter pilot who is also getting a divorce. This lets us know he’s a regular guy with real world problems but we never really believe that because he’s the freaking Rock. Also in California, Lawrence explains that the San Andreas fault is going to collapse and cause earthquakes. Hey-o, it happens and everybody tries to survive.

"That fault...is heading down Jabroni drive and is looking for a SMACKDOWN! ONLY! ON! PAY PER VIEW!

“That fault…is heading down Jabroni drive lookin’ for a SMACKDOWN! This Sunday! ONLY! ON! PAY PER VIEW!

No really, that’s it. Before the disaster, Giamatti’s character, Lawrence, explains that it’s going to happen in a lecture rather than trying to warn everybody. We establish that the Rock and his ridiculously good looking family are separated and the Rock doesn’t like this. But the new guy in the ex-wife’s life is played by Ioan Gruffudd to immediately let us know their relationship won’t last so the Rock and the wife can get back together. Guys, I promise I’ve wanted to remain objective for these reviews but I was suffering more than the characters in this movie. Sure, they had debris collapsing on them but my pain wasn’t CGI, it was real. 

Really though, the best thing I can say about this movie is that while I was watching it, I thought “This would make an awesome video game.” Think about it. At first you’ll play as a regular human male that is shown to be weak and ineffective in a massive natural disaster, as all the guys are in this movie, except for the Rock. Then for your next mission, you get to play as the Rock from there on out and you’re practically superhuman, feeling like you could punch the fault back into place. Your first playable character can only drag another injured human along, but playing as the Rock, you can lift four weaklings at one time.

The only people that were safe in this movie were the people that had a connection to him. To separate from the Rock is to know death.

So as we’re watching this movie, me and Bryce are finishing the lines and saying what’s going to happen way before it ever does. Not because we’re geniuses but because this film seemed to have been written with the idea in mind that they’re not being paid to try, but to just make it.

When I watched this in the movie I watched it in I was like "Whoa!"

When I watched this in the movie that I watched it in I was like “Whoa!”

It’s stuff like this where the special effects are definitely the most intriguing aspect of the film but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be feeling. Are we supposed to like the scenes where scores of people are screaming to their death? Because it looks great, and I’m not really feeling tense because nobody that matters is dying but it’s still a bunch of people just dying. Kylie Minogue showed up for dinner with leading lady Carla Gugino, was made to look like a horrible human, and then she died in the same scene. Don’t know what the point was or which member of the crew she knows but mother earth sure showed her. She taught all of us a very important lesson with this film. I just don’t know what it is. Oh, yeah I do- Hollywood is done making good disaster movies after Godzilla.

Positives: The Rock and his whole family are all beautiful people, the special effects are great.

Negatives: Everything but what I just said. I should not be bored out of my mind watching the earth get torn apart, but alas…

Grade: D-

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3 Responses to “Movie Review: San Andreas”

  1. Skinny Pete Says:

    yo this writer is straight wack! ever time a good movie come out you talking shit. first you hate on furious 7 now you hatin on this. why cuz they got the rock?? I hope he drop a people elbow on your ass go home white boy go watch titanic

  2. Admittedly, I’m late to this discussion, and I hadn’t even heard of this movie until I saw the review, but Skinny Pete is great at irony and the Rock likes pancakes. Also, any movie with “Fast” or “Furious” in the title sucks.

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