Disaster movies can be quite fun as long as you leave your brain at home. I’ve always enjoyed watching classic ones like The Poseiden Adventure and The Towering Inferno. But then there are ones that are just boring such as the John Cusack snoozefest 2012. So where does Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson’s new flick stand?
Johnson is Ray, a LA helicopter rescue pilot whose estranged from his wife Emma (Carla Gugino). When a massive earthquake rips across lots of cities along the San Andreas Fault, Johnson has to rescue not only Emma but also their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) who is trapped in San Francisco. As threats of further earthquakes come in, can Ray save both the women in his life?
Having low expectations going in to see this movie, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had. Ok it’s never going to be a classic movie but it knows what it is and does it well. Having Dwayne Johnson in the lead role helps as he’s one of the few professional wrestler turn actor that can actually act and have loads of charisma. You can also believe that if anyone can take on an earthquake it’s the man formally known as The Rock.
As for the supporting characters, Paul Giamatti sprouts exposition well as Dr. Lawrence Hayes and Ray’s daughter Blake is, unusually for this genre, not annoying and is actually quite resourceful. Yes she ultimately does have to be rescued by her father (as does her mother) but San Andreas isn’t looking to challenge too many cliches.There’s Emma’s new boyfriend who predictably turns out to be a coward, and someone has to die early on to save a helpless child.
Some of it is very stupid. Ray and Emma almost fall into a huge hole in the ground even though it was right in front of them. Some of the conversations between the ex couple are also a bit boring as they are just there to provide the back story to their relationship. Yes it’s cheesy, and it won’t re-invent the disaster movie, but San Andreas is easy watching and has good special effects to satisfy most audience viewers.
Rating 3/5 – silly but enjoyable none the less