When you think of the premise of San Andreas, you imagine something on the lines on 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow, and feel like it’s going to be a dull remake of the same movies. However, San Andreas is anything but dull. From start to finish, the film is thoroughly enjoyable, replete with mind-numbing destruction, helicopters and Dwayne Johnson’s biceps.
San Andreas wastes no time in cutting to the chase and begins with a bang – Dwayne Johnson hangs out of a helicopter and saves a young girl stuck on a cliff. The plot of San Andreas is simple, but it is one that we’ve seen countless times. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a rescue chopper pilot called Ray, who has an estranged wife (Carla Gugino, who plays Emma) and a daughter (Alexandra Daddario, who plays Blake). They were a happy family once, but after the death of one of their kids the marriage dies as well. Emma is going to move in with millionaire Daniel Riddick, played by Ioan Gruffudd.
It so happens that Emma, Daniel and Blake are going to San Francisco. However, seismologist Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and his colleague Kim Park (Will Yun Lee) predict that the San Andreas fault, which runs through San Francisco, is going to rip the land open- literally. They’re too late to warn other people, and Emma, Daniel and Blake are stuck in San Francisco, which is now reduced to rubble. Emma and Blake are separated, but Blake is rescued by two British brothers- Ben (Hugo Johnstone – Burt) and Ollie (Art Parkinson), who provide the much needed comic relief. Emma is saved by Ray with his chopper. And Ray and his ex-wife now begin looking for their daughter.
The film is a jaw-dropping masterpiece when it comes to special effects and the sheer scale of the environment. Watching San Francisco go down like a house of cards is awesome, with buildings toppling over each other. San Andreas has a lot of twists as well, and has these nail biting scenes where you’re suddenly worried about whether the characters will make it out alive. Dwayne Johnson nails his role to the T, rescuing people and saving lives. Daddario and Gugino are earnest, and Parkinson is hilarious. Paul Giamatti also shines as Lawrence.
However, San Andreas isn’t perfect. It’s full of stuff we’ve seen before, and that is the only thing that bogs it down. For example, the film ends with the sun setting, and Emma and Ray getting back together (surprise, surprise). Emma asks Ray, “What do we do now?”, to which he says, “We rebuild.” Now, where have we heard that before?
Why should you watch the film?
The film grabs you by the gut and pulls you in for an engaging experience, where you actually fear for the lives of the characters. Although there’s a lot of predictable scenes, catch it if you enjoy action, The Rock and absolute destruction.