Tuesday, June 9, 2015

San Andreas – review

This movie is not good and I honestly don’t expect to remember it for long. It is a cookie-cutter disaster film that is predictable and void of originality. Even if you can suspend your disbelief enough to enjoy the action, it is ruined by bad C.G.I. of which would be more appropriate for a cut-scene in a video game. It should have been a lot more fun considering the cast.

Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter rescue pilot Ray Gaines, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is in the midst of a divorce from his wife Emma, played Carla Gugino.  After discovering that Emma and his daughter Blake, played by Alexandra Daddario, are moving in with Emma’s new boyfriend, Ray is noticeably upset. Soon a series of earthquakes tear the city apart and it’s up to Ray to save his estranged family.

I was irritated that Ray is supposed to be a heroic fireman when the first thing he does in a massive crisis is basically steal a helicopter and use it to rescue his own family. People are dying left and right of him and you can count on half a hand the amount of times he goes out of his way to save strangers. Besides the rotten protagonist we have the massive dose of 9-11 and Titanic imagery that seems more like pandering than homage.

The C.G.I does no favors for this movie. Most of the shots look like green screen nightmares or the shots of people who move with the same realism of a living ventriloquist dummy. The plot is just what you’d expect from a disaster movie and is incredibly predictable. Some of the scenes even felt added for filler material to make it full length.

The writing is so weak that at no point did I feel that the main characters were at risk. With nothing at risk it really doesn’t make me give a crap what the characters do since the movie doesn’t have the guts to do something risky or original. In the end we get a movie that gives us a weak visual spectacle of an earthquake as seen by folks that, by all rights, should be dead several times over.

If they went for a more aware, tongue-in-cheek disaster movie this might have been great. The Rock and the rest of the cast would have been able to accomplish that. As it is I wouldn’t recommend this movie unless you are a die-hard fan of the Rock or just have a desire for bad science and patriotic imagery. It might be worth a rental if it wasn’t so forgettable.

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