|Dwayne Johnson is ready to rock in San Andreas|
Of all the many genres of film there are, the natural disaster film is the most in need of a funeral. Okay, so maybe the vampire, werewolf, witch, warlock, zombie, demon, whatever the hell, films also need to go from undead to dead as well but, nearly every perceivable situation with an earthly catastrophe has been done. Now in this day and age, they're just making the same thing over and over again but with a different poster and tagline. Since the 70's, disaster films have come in spurts. They're hot, then they're not. Personally, I liked them in the 90's. Computer effects were still new and they opened up another level of possibilities. When movies like Twister, Dante's Peak, and Titanic, came out, they were amazing to us because we had never scene those types of movies done that way before. And then Roland Emmerich came around and made every one of his disaster movies look larger than life but, were almost totally empty inside. After Independence Day, Godzilla 1998, The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 B.C., and 2012, I think it's safe to say that we all wanted a break from disaster flicks.
Well, your not getting any breaks. Because the next earth shattering motion picture event is here and it's called, San Andreas; A film not done by Emmerich but gosh darn it, it sure feels like he did. Think of every single cliche from every single disaster film ever made, and this film does it. Guy gives his life while saving a kid by tossing her away from danger at the last possible second? Check. Pointless subplot with the main character's past, involving a child who was lost in an accident? Check. Sketchy boyfriend of main character's ex-wife meeting up with the appropriate karma before the end? Check. Daughter of main character conveniently knowing every trick in the book to surviving the greatest natural disaster that the west coast has ever seen? Check. Scientist warning after each separate moment that it's going to get worse? Check. I could go on and on. About a quarter of the way in to this film, I started laughing. About as much if not more than when I saw Transformers: Age of Extinction. This movie is so bad, it's goddamn hilarious! Speaking of Transformers 4, there are probably thirty movies or more copied in some way or another in this film as well as that one. Here's a short list: Cliffhanger, Independence Day, Titanic, Twister, Dante's Peak, The Day After Tomorrow, War of the Worlds, The Perfect Storm, and 2012. Come to think of it, this movie is a rip off of 2012, with California being the focal point and you replace John Cusack in a Limo with Dwayne Johnson in a rescue helicopter. But nobody should worry right, cause The Rock's in it?
Wrong. For the first time in a long time, The Rock was in a movie and it wasn't better for him just being there. That's how lame the screenplay for San Andreas is. After a cool (but completely impossible) intro, The Rock is held back from the winning personality that we've all grown to love, because of him dealing with a dead daughter and a divorce simultaneously. The topping on the cake for his melancholy, is the approaching destruction of California because of a couple of tectonic plates that have a disagreement with each other. The audience is subjected to many a wasted moment of The Rock working things out with his wife played by Carla Gugino (Son in Law), while they travel in one vehicle after another to reach their living daughter, played by Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson). Daddario gets to run around San Francisco looking for higher ground while, escorting a couple of Brits that are involved just so that she has someone to talk to, until Mommy & Daddy show up at the last minute to save the day. The only worthwhile character at all (who's barely shown), is by Paul Giamatti (Sideways), as the scientist that warns everyone of impending doom but, gets ignored until all of the fatties around the place start jiggling more than usual. Throw in a bunch of predictability with a side of contrivance, and you have one dumb Summer blockbuster. But at least the visuals were cool. Snore.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of San Andreas
The Good- The way Daddario gets saved from being crushed in a limo, is pretty clever.
The Bad- If an entire city is shaking while the building that you're standing on is also shaking, don't you think that you'd be shaking too? I guess not when you're standing in front of a green screen.
The Ugly- Should we really consider The Rock's character to be a hero, when he abandons thousands of people in need of rescue for his daughter? Good Dad, bad hero.
Final Thoughts on San Andreas
San Andreas is not a good movie, at all. Just like with a Roland Emmerich film, it looks good but sucks in all other categories. I had a great time though because I laughed my ass off at the absurdity of it all. If you can't find a sense of humor while watching a shitty movie, then don't see this film. Otherwise, you might just wish for the ground to open up underneath your feet to spare you from hearing The Rock whine about not being able to save his dead daughter. Please Hollywood, no more 'natural' disaster films, at least for a couple of decades.
Rating- 2.5 out of 10
Rating- 2.5 out of 10
San Andreas (2015)
PG-13 | 1h 54min | Action, Adventure, Drama | 29 May 2015 (USA)
In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey with his ex-wife across the state in order to rescue his daughter.
Director: Brad Peyton
Writers: Carlton Cuse (screenplay), Andre Fabrizio (story)
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario