Saturday, May 30

REVIEW: San Andreas

Directed by Brad Peyton
2015 Action Drama
1 hour 54 minutes
From Village Roadshow
and New Line Cinema

Dwayne Johnson
Carla Gugino
Alexandra Daddario
Hugo Johnstone-Burt
Art Parkinson
Archie Panjabi
Ioan Gruffudd
Paul Giamatti

Well, ok, here was my yesterday.  Off we went to the local cinema to see Aloha.  Then it was home to write that review.  Then we grabbed some lunch and back we went to the same complex to see San Andreas.  It was a good day because I haven't seen a movie in a theater since early April.  Mr. MovieMan doesn't like that.

Funny that each of those movies took place in the last two states I called home.  But after San Andreas, whoa, I may never even visit the Golden State again.  This is going to be an enormously popular movie, except perhaps to California residents.  I lived with earthquakes for over 30 years and it's not a lot of fun.  There was always the question in your head as you awakened in your bed,  rocking and rolling, is this the big one?  That's what we lived with out there.  Would we see the big one?  I admit I left California because of the horrendous traffic, but I was grateful I no longer had to deal with earthquakes.

To a degree the story is a slight one.  While Los Angeles and San Francisco are crumbling before our very eyes, the hunky and ineluctable Dwayne Johnson, as a rescue-chopper pilot, first flies off to save his ex-wife (Carla Gugino) in Los Angeles and once he does (you had a doubt?), together they fly off to save their daughter (Alexandra Daddario) in San Francisco.  (I admit to trying to listen for Jeanette MacDonald... if you don't know what that means, just let it go and read on.)

Of course the best things about the movie are the outstanding special effects, the non-stop action and the super excitement.  I'm not a seismologist so I don't really know how quixotic the plot devices are.  Although I do not consider it a claptrap of a film, I do question whether there would truly be that amount of damage and whether a tsunami would develop.  Hollywood certainly is prone to exaggeration to guarantee your ticket purchase.  I'm also guessing the emotional damage was more on the mark. 

In addition to the action genre, this can certainly be considered a disaster movie and I was definitely reminded of the 70s and such eye-poppers as The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno.  This is a great grandchild to those granddaddies back then and it does the genre proud.  One can only hope that in true Hollywood $tyle, we don't end up with San Andreas XVIII.

No one goes to see these films for the wonderful acting... we all know that.  But I admire and show respect to actors who spend so much time in front of a green screen having to emotionally react to something that isn't there.  I think I've seen Dwayne Johnson in only one film... some jungle epic where he was chased by Christopher Walken.  I liked him but unfortunately he doesn't make the kinds of films I'm likely to see.  I was impressed by his tender scenes in this one... tears in the eyes and all.  And he is a good listener.  None of this has much impressed me with the other action stars, so the strong man, the big Johnson, gets a thumbs up from me. 

He and Carla Gugino have worked together twice before and their chemistry is obvious.  Alexandra Daddario, as the daughter, was given lots to do and handled it all with aplomb.  Really, the entire cast stepped up to the plate.

Johnson and director Peyton have worked together before as well so they've worked it all out long ago.  This had to have been an enormous project and hats off to Peyton for pulling it off so well.

For those of you who may not know it, the San Andreas Fault is a  fault line that extends around 800 miles through California.  It's most dangerous sector appears to be in the greater Los Angeles area.  The fault consists of two plates, The North American Plate and the Pacific Plate, which are right up next to one another.  It is the motions and movements and stress levels of these two plates that scientists say one day will cause the big one.  It would be a disaster of epic and ultimately national, if not international, proportions. 

While we're doing public service announcements, the end credits  provide an interesting website on earthquakes and I pass it on to you:

A Good 60s Film

1 comment:

  1. Not surprised to see a thumbs up for a big Johnson!