It’s everything you could possibly expect.
For some, a nauseating clichéd ridden mess of epic proportions. For others, a special effects extravaganza with The Rock having some B-movie fun.
FINALLY! THE ROCK HAS COME BACK . . . TO CALIFORNIA!
In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his daughter (Alexandra Daddario).
You knew from the opening five minutes what you were getting yourselves into. A big, dumb, incredibly stupid blockbuster.
I was in tears of laughter. We watch a young ditzy girl look set to crash head on with oncoming traffic as she drops her cell phone and mindlessly looks everywhere else but at the bloody road. A perfect advertising campaign for DRIVE SAFE if ever there was one.
That’s not the funny bit. After narrowly avoiding two cars, her car is swallowed up by the ground after a ferocious seismic wave. But my God! Her car. Boy, it rolled and rolled and rolled. It was like something out of the Animal. Remember that movie? You know the silly Rob Schneider animal comedy? Not sure what I mean. Check out the link. It was just as ridiculous as that.
And the girl? Miraculously only has a few scratches and a bit of dirt on her cheek. Hollywood for you. If that little segment made you sigh, then San Andreas is most certainly not for you.
It’s very much in the same vein as The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. That means two things; the first being that the special effects will be ground breaking (Pardon the pun) and second . . . Uh . . . Well, it’s got the Rock.
I’m sorry but no matter how many times he tries to reinvent himself as Dwayne Johnson; he will always be THE ROCK! BUT I’m getting worried that he will always play this type of character. Don’t get me wrong. The Brahma Bull bossed it. Playing it with the right balance of seriousness as the daring dad.
And hey! If you wanted anybody saving you from an earthquake, your money would most definitely be on this jabroni.
The special effects were intense. The 3D wasn’t bad. The detail and set design were fantastic. The panning sequence as we watch the plate shift through San Francisco in one giant seismic wave was almost worth the ticket price alone. Almost.
BUT then we had to suffer with the same old guff and cliché-ridden characters. The Rock in the middle of a divorce. Paul Giamatti playing the doctor that nobody listens to until it’s inevitably too late. Archie Panjabi playing a pointless news journalist.
So many fantastic actors playing terrible and bland character types. I mean it wasn’t that much of a surprise. I knew what I was getting myself into. I just wish it could have surprised me. That’s all.
The lovely Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters) did her best as the doomed daughter but you just knew no matter how smart or stupid her actions were; she would still need to be saved by the main hero.
Kylie Minogue didn’t do a bad turn as Gugino’s bitchy sister-in-law. To be honest, her character had potential to be a much needed spanner in the works to spice up the dreary exposition. But nah! Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat. Just a quick cameo for the ageless Aussie.
Ioan Gruffudd played the (Put another tick at that disaster movie checklist) douchebag step father well. BUT it’s been done to death. Counting down the minutes until he decides to do something dastardly that will make you shake your head. Not even his inevitable outcome was that adventurous. You could see it coming a mile off.
Hugo Johnstone-Burt and Art Parkinson played the nauseating and irritating British brothers. No seriously? Why British? Why were they in it? Just why? They were annoying and stereotypical. Parkinson doing his worst Hugh Grant impression. Bumbling and waffling away. Oh good golly. One needs a stiff cup of tea to get over the excitement.
Johnstone-Burt’s dreadful romance with Daddario was as dull as dishwater. The heroic Will Yun Lee was one of the most interesting characters BUT he only lasted 10 minutes.
The lovely Carla Gugino had good chemistry with The Rock which made their schmaltzy relationship a lot more enjoyable. A cheeky exchange between her and the former WWF champion got a chuckle out of me. As they parachute to safety landing on a baseball stadium, The Rock simply says, “It’s been a while since I took you to third base”. He might as well have winked at the camera.
And Paul Giamatti did everything he could with his doctor role but all his passion couldn’t hide the stupendous theorizing or the fact that his only real sound advice during a mega-earthquake is to hide under a table.
A table? Even when vents and air conditioners are dropping down on top of it? COME ON!
The pace zipped along surprisingly well and I wasn’t bored. Entertained is another story. It was corny as hell and cliched to the max. It really was everything I expected so I wasn’t disappointed and it did the job. I was able to laugh and switch my brain off for 2 hours! BUT impressed? By the effects. Absolutely.
Everything else? Meh. It was a vast improvement from 2012 but I don’t think a film has come close to the legendary nature disaster flick that is Twister!
Watchable enough fun. Just don’t expect anything else.