By Mark (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
I do not understand why a producer/production company would bother putting effort into creating some decent special effects to support such schlock writing and poor acting as exists in the movie San Andreas. Oh dear. The characters in this movie are presented by the writers as some of the most vapid personalities I would care to know about. I hope that I never get to meet such people. While death and destruction is happening all around the group of people that make up the main characters of the movie remain more concerned with getting the boy/girl or attempting some marriage counselling.
This is a disaster movie. The main plot is about some serious earthquakes along the San Andreas fault and some prior unknown faultline that connects to it, causing serious damage to structures and cities in California. In the destruction the bad guy of the story gets his comeuppance for being rich, selfish and not being a resourceful action man. Hang on… No! The main plot is a drama about the reconciliation of a family that have been damaged by the death of a child. Along the way the ‘other guy’ gets his comeuppance for interloping in a relationship where there was true love.
Or maybe it’s a spoof. This genre title fits more accurately with the repetitive last moment reveals or saves, clichéd lines, clichéd situations, clichéd relationships, “Rat Race” style vehicle changes, bad science, twee concluding statements and images, and the hopeless neglect of duty displayed by the character played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I want, very much, to believe that the movie was written and produced as a spoof because it is too bad to be taken seriously. If spoof is its genre, then they have done it too cleverly for my small brain. It presents itself too seriously for most of the movie for me to recognise it as a true spoof.
The movie contains several heroes and one bad guy. Science hero comes up with a working model for predicting earthquakes but does not get a chance to publish before the ‘big one’ hits. Journalist hero takes the science hero seriously and helps him to broadcast his warnings so that many people are saved. Action Man hero pursues a single minded goal of rescuing his daughter. He completes this task with a complete disregard for personal and public property or the welfare of thousands of other people who are being impacted by the disaster. He does have one moment in the movie where he displays some public responsibility. It is moments like this in the movie that make it difficult for me to be convinced that the entire movie is spoof. Action Man hero is also supported by Action Girl hero.
Action Man hero’s daughter has learned some good skills from her father and is able to save the day on several occasions through their application. There is also Sensitive New Age Guy hero who gets to use some knowledge of levers to enact some saves. His offsider, Teenage hero, keeps him in line by providing the sort of wisdom that adults seem to lose in action movies. The bad guy is not really that bad. He is possibly the only character in the movie that displays real responses to disastrous situations. We don’t like him because he is rich and has displaced Action Man hero in the love interest. We are all happy when he finally gets killed horribly after several other near deaths earlier in the movie.
I’m sorry I watched it. Sorry enough to bother to spend more time writing a review so that others might not also be sorry. Brad Peyton is the director. If I were a movie financer I would never put money his way. Shocking job – disastrous.