San Andreas (2015)
*** (out of 4)
After a massive earthquake strikes California, a father (Dwayne Johnson) must struggle to try and rescue his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) and his daughter (Alexandra Daddario) who finds herself somewhere in San Fransisco. While people are trying to dig themselves out of the damage, a seismologist (Paul Giamatti) warns people that the big one hasn't yet happened.
SAN ANDREAS is without question one of the dumbest movies that you're going to see in the year 2015 or perhaps any other year. I mean, things happen here that are without question quite stupid and that includes a really dumb love story and the logic of some of the scenes are downright laughable. With that said, one really shouldn't go into this movie expecting anything other than a popcorn movie meant to keep you entertained and this film certainly does that as it's a pretty good throwback to the Irwin Allen disaster pictures like EARTHQUAKE, THE TOWERING INFERNO and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE.
I really can't believe I'm saying this but the special effects are certainly the highlight of the picture. I'm usually not a fan of CGI because more times than not it just looks fake and takes away from the story but we're reaching a point in technology where it's really hard to see the effect, which is just great. There's a massive amount of destruction throughout this film and I must admit that the effects make you feel that everything you're watching is real. This includes the actual earthquake footage as well as all the destruction around the state. There are countless buildings that fall and the aftermath of the quake looks extremely realistic.
The story itself is quite stupid as we get all sorts of predictable scenes but I can't really blame the film for this as the entire disaster genre had silly melodrama going on. The relationship issues between Johnson and Gugino are quite stupid and of course there's a side story dealing with him not being able to save a daughter that died. The screenplay pretty much throws everything into the mix and just hopes any of it sticks. Again, it's hard to bash the "dumb" story too much since the film is so entertaining but I will give the film credit for delivering the highest body count in the history of cinema.
Again, going into SAN ANDREAS expecting anything other than entertainment probably isn't the best idea. The actors are all entertaining in their own right and that's especially true for Daddario. As far as Johnson goes, he's certainly not the greatest actor in the world but he makes for a great action star.
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