Heart-pounding, entertaining and surprisingly good for a thrilling action disaster movie.
In seismology terms, the west coast is experiencing a swarm event. The shaking of the San Andreas fault line is not over, and that’s not from after shocks. The people of California need to get out. One family, led by a rescue chopper pilot, journeys on a dangerous mission to save their daughter during the extreme state of emergency.
Within five minutes, San Andreas decisively tells audiences that this action film is not going to be that type of movie. Immediately avoiding cliche plot points and basic story telling, San Andreas resoundingly gets viewers ready for an original take on the ‘disaster film’ archetype.
The specific movie genre has certainly taken a nose dive in popularity in recent years. Perhaps San Andreas will give way to some diversity in the films offered to audiences through popular box office release. For a disaster movie, San Andreas is a good one, the action is well plotted and frenetically chaotic, albeit mainly computer generated.
The thrills catch audiences off guard and thrash them about, but are only effective because there is sufficient character development early on. The casting of all main characters who appear capable to endure the devastation. Carla Gugino, Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Paul Giamatti and Ioan Gruffuld are spot on perfection given their character’s motivation and help to retain engagement.
As a narrative, San Andreas is fluid and natural with very few lulls and distractions. Yes, there are some dramatic subplots that some may deem unnecessary, but the overall trajectory of the plot follows a linear path.
San Andreas is heart pounding and surprisingly good and plays on the fear of the “big one” perfectly. And just so he knows: I trust you Dwayne Johnson, you can come to my rescue any time.
San Andreas (2015) – Review