San Andreas: Rushing to Salvage a World in Ruins

29 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Movie review: “San Andreas” a cheesy CGI thriller.

Dwayne Johnson says he has no problem channelling the sense of family and drama in his upcoming blockbuster movie “San Andreas” because he has lived through similar life-or-death moments. (Source: Movie Still) Dwayne Johnson says he has no problem channelling the sense of family and drama in his upcoming blockbuster movie “San Andreas” because he has lived through similar life-or-death moments. The disaster film promises nothing more than the complete CGI destruction of California as foregrounded by Dwayne Johnson’s jackfruit-sized biceps, and it delivers exactly that. The WWE wrestler-turned-actor, 43, said the movie has brought back the bad memories relating to his encounter with the natural disaster, reported Contactmusic. “I’ve been through natural disasters.

After providing some blissfully stupid B-movie thrills for its first hour, the film suffers from spectacle overkill (you know what’s cooler than an apocalyptic earthquake? I was down in Miami and I lived down there for Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which was a category five (hurricane),” he said. “It was a tough, tough time. Two apocalyptic earthquakes … and a tsunami) and a fatal lack of invention in its second, more concerned with toppling buildings one by one than ever drumming up a lick of suspense about the fates of those inside them. “San Andreas” is the kind of film that can imply the violent deaths of millions of innocent people without batting an eye, just so long as the five or six Californians who matter make it out with only cuts and bruises. So I think the idea of coming together like we were showcasing in our story resonates with people and I think if there is any connection for me, it would be that.” Dwayne Johnson stars as a helicopter-rescue pilot trying to save his family after a massive earthquake that is more ridiculous than impressive, though the scale is enormous.

The recent earthquake in Nepal might make that proposition a bit dicier, offering a reminder that catastrophic natural disasters aren’t exactly, well, fun. (The film was forced to retool some of its marketing materials as a result.) But as thoroughly cheesy and mindless as it is, “San Andreas” certainly isn’t glib about its central calamity, and no one is lining up expecting documentary realism anyway. Really, that’s about all there is to say about “San Andreas,” the brain-rattling disaster of a disaster film directed by Brad Peyton and starring Dwayne Johnson. (Don’t worry, systematic pummeling is all your brain will be used for during the film anyway.) To appreciate the effect of watching this movie, here is a suggestion: Go to your music collection and find the loudest, angriest heavy metal music you’ve got (something where they use jackhammers for percussion), put on headphones and crank it up UNTIL EVERYTHING SOUNDS LIKE THIS. His soon-to-be-ex-wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), has shacked up with uber-rich building developer Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd), who is busy constructing the tallest, sturdiest skyscraper in San Francisco (this bit of information may be useful later). Ray and Emma have a college-age daughter named Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who thumbs a ride up to the Bay Area on Daniel’s private jet, where she meets cute with fumbling, flustering British 20-something Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and his obnoxious, wisecracking younger brother, Ollie (Art Parkinson). Meanwhile, a Cal Tech seismologist (Paul Giamatti), prone to muttering science-y gibberish under his breath while drawing lots of diagrams, heads off to Nevada to study a recent flurry of “mini-quakes.” These jolts give him the data he needs to predict future earthquakes — “something-something magnetic pulses mumble-mumble” — moments before a sudden trembler takes out the Hoover Dam.

He’s just arrived back in Pasadena to put his theories into practice when the entire San Andreas fault lights up with warning signs, indicating the Big One is imminent. As the assembled characters dodge debris and do lots of screaming — the quake demolishes L.A. and San Francisco simultaneously — Peyton shows us both the computer-scaled chaos (well rendered, if indistinguishable from the similar destruction present in every disaster- and comicbook film of the past half-decade) as well as some glimpses at more immediate epicenters.

With the earthquake having passed, it’s here that the film ought to stir up some novel perils to test and develop its characters, and the aftermath of an earthquake should provide plenty of dangers — gas leaks, explosions, fires, riots, slightly worse traffic, etc. Instead, the film simply doubles down on its initial gambit, as Giamatti’s scientist discovers that the biggest, most devastating quake in American history is merely a precursor for a bigger, more most-devastating quake that could turn California into Arizona Bay at any moment. Thanks to this lack of tension — when two major world cities lie in ruins, it’s hard to get too worked up over the danger of the rubble re-collapsing — the film drifts off in its last hour.

Meanwhile, Blake and Ben develop a nervous sort of romance as they trudge through the streets, with Blake losing a new article of clothing at every aftershock. Bay Area natives will surely chuckle at some of the geographic oddities here, as the trio consult a map to find their way from Chinatown to Coit Tower, a landmark that ought to be easily visible simply by looking up. Daddario maintains a bright screen presence, and she manages to keep her half of the narrative afloat well enough, yet Johnson is the main attraction. Best utilized when he’s allowed to arch his famous right eyebrow at the tumult unfolding around him, Johnson affects a more solemn, Stallonian presence here, and he’s as solid an action hero as ever. They travel to San Francisco to find Blake, and while it’s a pretty big city, never sell short the power of absurd coincidence when it comes to Dwayne Johnson being a hero.

Still, one can almost sense the actor breathing a sigh of relief when, after parachuting into the infield of AT&T Park with Emma, he gets to quip, “It’s been a while since I got you to second base.” The line is dumb, forehead-slapping, and totally out of sync with the rest of “San Andreas.” It’s also the best thing in it.

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "San Andreas: Rushing to Salvage a World in Ruins".

* Required fields
All the reviews are moderated.
Twitter-news
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site