Time: 114 Minutes
Age Rating: Offensive Language
Dwayne Johnson as Chief Raymond “Ray” Gaines
Carla Gugino as Emma Gaines
Alexandra Daddario as Blake Gaines
Hugo Johnstone-Burt as Ben Taylor
Art Parkinson as Ollie Taylor
Ioan Gruffudd as Daniel Riddick
Archie Panjabi as Serena Johnson
Paul Giamatti as Dr. Lawrence Hayes
Director: Brad Peyton
In San Andreas, California is experiencing a statewide earthquake that goes on record as easily the biggest earthquake in history. Dwayne Johnson plays Ray Gaines, a helicopter rescue pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department, who is trying to find his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who is in San Francisco amidst the chaos. Ray’s estranged wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), is forced to turn to Ray for help, as he is her last resort. Together they journey to save their daughter.
Disaster movies have practically become a genre in itself. Some of them are entertaining, others are painfully bad. As disaster movies go, San Andreas is one of the better ones but it’s still pretty dumb. The characters are one dimensional, the story is cliché and predictable and the action while good, at a point gets a little tiresome. Still, you know what you are going into, and you’ll probably get all the destruction and action that you want.
You should know that the plot really doesn’t matter. If you have a hard time following what’s going on, it’s because not much of this movie makes sense. There isn’t any character development here either, all the characters are one dimensional and cliché. You don’t really care about the characters, you only care about Dwayne Johnson’s character because he’s The Rock. The plot is also predictable, from the get go you know exactly how the plot is going to go, you know what characters are going to live and what characters are going to die. There are also some really cheesy lines, there’s a scene where Paul Giamatti figures out what’s going on and someone asks him “Who should we call?” and he says “Everybody”. Moments like this make me wonder whether they are intentional cheesy or not. However if you’re watching this movie, you probably aren’t expecting a good plot.
Dwayne Johnson once again is a likable lead, he can add credibility to anything and elevate the films that he’s in. The supporting cast is pretty good with what they have, consisting of actors like Alexandra Daddario and Carlo Gugino. Paul Giamatti was good in the movie but his entire purpose in the film is to deliver exposition, I felt like he actually didn’t do that much in the movie. As I said before though, all the characters are one dimensional and you don’t particularly care about them. The only reason you care about The Rock’s character is because he’s played by The Rock.
If you are going into San Andreas, you are going for the action and destruction. The effects for the most part work but at times it can look really fake. For example in the first scene of the movie a car flips down a mountain many times and it looked like a scene from the SyFj channel. The special effects most of the time do work but after a while, it gets kind of boring. Maybe it’s because there’s so much of it at once and after a while it doesn’t feel as impactful. Also the characters survive unbelievable destruction that there is no tension, like in the case of the aforementioned flipping car, when the car stopped flipping, the driver was still alive. It was like the film is running on Die Hard 5 logic.
San Andreas is not that good of a movie but if you want to see destruction, you’ll definitely get that, if you want to see The Rock being awesome, you’ll get that. The story is predictable, the characters are one dimensional and cliché and the plot is really dumb. However I do think that if you want to see a mostly entertaining movie, you’ll get that with this movie, but I think there are better movies out there.