Ah Dwayne Johnson. You’ve gotta’ love him right? He just comes at you with that big beaming smile and all seems good, you can’t help but smile along with him. I didn’t know much about San Andreas other than the obvious and that Johnson was in it. So I was surprised to find quite a large supporting cast which included Paul Giamatti, blink-and-you’ll-miss-her Kylie Minogue, Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic 4, Titantic), Carla Gugino (Watchmen, Sin City), Alexandra Daddario (True Detective, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief).
The story is pretty obvious, large earthquake, causes a tsunami, devastates California. Johnson is a rescue pilot who happens to be nearby when the first quake hits and rescues his ex-wife. They both then set off on a mission to save their daughter Blake, Alexandra Daddario who has teamed up with two British brothers Ben, played by Hugo Johnstone-Burt – who’s actually Australian – (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Home And Away) and his younger brother Ollie, played by Art Parkinson (best known for playing Rickon Stark in Game of Thrones).
That’s pretty much it. Other than that the CGI does the talking and it is very good CGI but I’m afraid a good film it does not make. I could have lived with the film. I’d have thought it a ‘switch your brain off and suspend belief’ type film. Except there’s a bit too much suspending of belief, such as riding the crest of a tsunami. Johnson and ex-wife Gugino also use, pretty much, every form of travel in the movie: helicopter, plane, parachute, truck and boat. You just get a little sick of the coincidences.
This is screenwriter Carlton Cuse first real big movie he’s had and, as much as it pains me to say it, I think he’s a lot better sticking to TV given his credits there include: Martial Law, Nash Bridges, Lost, The Returned, Bates Motel and The Strain. That might be harsh on Cuse as director Brad Peyton has a history of this sort of cheesy movie with Cats and Dogs 2 and Journey 2 to his credit.
This is probably the most ‘80’s Arnie’ we’ve seen the rock and I hope it’s the last we see of it. A cliché ridden film with one-liners to-boot. It’s far too long at two hours and the end…well. If I say that, as they stand overlooking what’s left of the Golden Gate Bridge when, out of nowhere, for no reason whatsoever, a giant US flag unfurls, you’ll get the sort of movie this is.