Review

  • This big-budget disaster movie sees Dwayne Johnson playing Raymond Gaines, a rescue helicopter pilot with the Los Angeles Fire Department. His wife is filing for divorce and her wealthy new boyfriend, Daniel Riddick, is taking Raymond's daughter, Blake, to San Francisco because he has to fly to Nevada after an earthquake destroys the Hoover Dam. Seismologists soon realise that it is a precursor to a massive quake that devastates Los Angeles and causes major damage throughout California. Raymond manages to rescue his wife and the pair head north to save their daughter. She is now with a pair of British boys, Ben and Ollie, the older of whom was in the city to apply for a job at Daniel's firm. Then an even larger quake strikes San Francisco; Blake and the boys must head to safe higher ground and hope Raymond can get to them.

    If you are looking for realism you are in the wrong place but if you just want an exciting roller-coaster ride of a movie where the protagonists survive a succession of disasters by the narrowest of margins then this is the film for you. The opening scene features a daring rescue which serves to introduce Raymond. After a very brief lull to introduce his family the action proper gets started. This begins with the spectacular destruction of the Hoover Dam and then escalates as we see Los Angeles and later San Francisco decimated; buildings collapse and famous landmarks destroyed. Dwayne Johnson impresses as Raymond Raines and the rest of the cast are solid even if the characters are for the most part playing second fiddle to the special effects. These effects looked fantastic on my relatively small television; I imagine they would have looked amazing on the big screen. Overall I'd say that this is well worth watching if you want a thrilling ride.