With disaster movies there is always a standard formula to them. This movie doesn’t falter from that at all. Granted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson does good with what he is given. In comparison to other disaster movies of the same genre, San Andreas is more tight nit and less messy than 2012 or Deep Impact. I felt that the main focus was more on Alexandra Daddario’s character than The Rock. She was the highlight out of the movie.
Some of the action is laughable and there are a lot of plot conveniences that take moments to make fun of itself. If you just turn your brain off during the ride it is completely enjoyable. The Rock is always a great presence on screen. Carla Gugino’s character didn’t have a whole lot to do. Her lines mainly consisted of “Oh my God’s” and some reactionary faces. When she is given stuff to actually do she’s great at it.
The Earth will literally crack and you will feel it on the East Coast.
Most of the destruction was shown in the trailer and granted it still looked a lot better on the big screen. I’m sure that the science depicted is also completely inaccurate but for the film they make it as believable as they can. Paul Giammati’s character had a straightforward arc and he is good in his scenes. I’m glad that they didn’t make his story overlap with The Rock’s. That would have made it too over the top.
The one main aspect I would like to point out that I wish they had focused more on was rescue efforts by Emergency rescue crews. Though there is the opening sequence and tactile information inserted throughout the film, it needed more of that focus to give a better spin on the disaster film. Most disaster films have focused on the science aspect but the real heroes of natural disasters are those rescue works who risk their lives to save others in peril.
Ioan Gruffudd and Kylie Minogue could have been better utilized. Kylie is only in one scene and Ioan is a flat character that you were not emotionally invested in. I do like that they didn’t jam too many storylines into the film to overstuff it. Some of the character moments and other story arcs they try to utilize felt a little unnecessary but it worked for the most part in trying to get you to care about the characters.
In the ranks of disaster films this is more in lines of towards my favorites. It is much better than 2012, Deep Impact and Armageddon. Gravity is still my favorite disaster film but the Rock has such charisma that you can’t help but enjoy the movie. I hope this film gives him the opportunity to get movies with better scripts. He really does try to be a better actor with each film.