SAN ANDREAS | REVIEW

Disaster movies, one of my all time favourite genres, the opportunity to witness global destruction that is fictional and comfortable from my lounge room or a nice cinema seat. They are a dime a dozen, with a disaster movie every year or so and of late appear to have one thing in common; a complete lack of concern for anything besides the action. Well the latest in the canon is SAN ANDREAS, a movie that sticks to the formula and stars the walking mountain, Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as The Rock. SAN ANDREAS is out now from the folks at Roadshow Films, it is rated M and runs for 114mins.

 

SAN ANDREAS MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
SAN ANDREAS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY JASON KING

SAN ANDREAS is a possibility, the disaster, not the rescue. The West Coast of the U.S. sits on the San Andreas fault, an epic fault line in the plates of the planet that has had many an earthquake in the past and one day will have an epic quake that will be devastating, but this time, all the real people survive, just the digital millions get annihilated. There are two things in this movie that save it from being the next 2012 – my worst disaster film of all time; 1) the CGI and action never ever relent and there are some serious anxious moments sitting on the edge of your seat taking it all in and 2) Dwayne Johnson, you just have to love him, he hardly talks and when he does the lines are so appalling you want to vomit but instead, like everything in FAST AND FURIOUS, you just laugh. If this starred, say, Bruce Willis, it would be a disaster in more ways than the story onscreen, but Dwayne is forgiven if he smiles and moves a trunk-like arm.

 

SAN ANDREAS MOVIE IMAGE RAY (DWAYNE JOHNSON) PILOTING THE HELICOPTER
SAN ANDREAS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE IMAGE

 

The rest of the film requires a massive suspension of disbelief, ignorance of science and physics, and a gag reflex at the script. But if you embrace the above then the film is pretty fun, it definitely gives you a fill of action and pretty much packs all forms of action into one film.

The film starts with a CLIFFHANGER like beginning and I was loving this, also stoked to see two of my personal faves, Colton Haynes as Joby and Archie Panjabi as Serena involved in the movie but seriously, why introduce the pilot crew at the beginning? especially Haynes, a freaking gorgeous actor on the rise who gets some decent camera time in the opening scene but is literally never seen again at all. We get to see Panjabi plenty of times throughout the film but this woman was one of the winning factors of THE GOOD WIFE, a fan favourite, she could have been used much better in this, a shallow, lame character.

 

SAN ANDREAS MOVIE IMAGE OF HELICOPTER CREW, INCLUDING DWAYNE JOHNSON AND COLTON HAYNES
SAN ANDREAS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE IMAGE OF HELICOPTER CREW, INCLUDING DWAYNE JOHNSON AND COLTON HAYNES

 

I didn’t really care for many of the other characters, all standard. Basically Ray (Johnson) is talking to his about-to-be-ex-wife Emma (Carla Gugino) while he is flying his helicopter solo and bam a quake hits, Emma is on the top floor of a building having a lunch with her new boyfriend’s sister (holy cow it’s Kylie Minogue) and the building is starting to fall apart, Ray just heads there telling her to get onto the roof. He rescues her but then the quake hits all the way in San Fran where their daughter is and the decision is made, “we are going to get our daughter.”

In San Fran, daddy’s little girl Blake (Alexandra Daddario) is copping a quake hiding and is abandoned by mum’s boyfriend Daniel Roddick (Ioan Gruffudd) and is united with a boy Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) she met in the lobby of the building who comes to her aid with his little brother Ollie (Art Parkinson – who I have to say was very enjoyable in the movie, some good kid comic timing and cheekiness) and the three of them must survive until daddy arrives and survives tsunamis, helicopter and plane crashes, skydiving, fires, stadiums falling down and the idiots of the world.

 

SAN ANDREAS MOVIE IMAGE
SAN ANDREAS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | OLLIE (ART PARKINSON), BLAKE (ALEXANDRA DADDARIO) AND BEN (HUGO JOHNSTONE-BURT)

 

The film has some scary echoes of 2012 minus Mayan prophecies and the relationship with the mother and the new boyfriend was incredibly similar, seriously why was this necessary? I truly wish disaster movies of the current day could match the greats of the past; THE TOWERING INFERNO, THE SWARM, TWISTER, EARTHQUAKE, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, TITANIC, I even enjoyed DEEP IMACT and love THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW but everyone gets caught up in the brilliance of the CGI effects, and while these are amazing directors really need to re-read screenplays and make them better or move on. The biggest flaw in this movie that bugged the shit out of me, besides the script, was the rubber boat, a glorified dinghy, a rubber boat that speeds at incredible velocity through torrentially destructive water flooded with floating debris, rams through glass windows, pretty much drives over liquid grounds of knife-like attack force but is the strongest inflatable rubber in the known galaxy and obviously deflects punctures.

But like I said before, you must “have a massive suspension of disbelief, ignorance of science and physics, and a gag reflex at the script.” And POW – the movie can be pretty fun. And little fact; for a film set in San Francisco, it is mostly filmed on the Gold Coast of Australia :).

 

2 and a Half Pops