Another movie for the “MEH!” pile. While not a bad movie on the whole, “San Andreas” is highly formulaic and predictable just like every other disaster movie out there, and believe me there are many. Whether its disaster on land, at sea, in air, in a fiery skyscraper, in space, asteroid collisions, alien or zombie invasion, or whatever else you can think of either natural or man-made, it’s all been done and done the same way. In the wake of devastation you have the hero figure (in this movie, Dwayne Johnson) trying to find his daughter (Alexandra Daddario) with the help of his estranged wife (Carla Gugino). In these movies, the hero figure is always that one person on a mission to survive and find his/her loved one(s) while saving as many people as possible along the way. You then have the selfish asshole (played by Ioan Gruffudd here) who tries to save his own hide no matter how many people he has to shove into death’s path along the way before finally getting his comeuppance. The customary shots of people running around screaming (understandably so though of course). And of course experts angrily telling anyone who will listen, “See, we warned you this would happen but you didn’t listen and now many people are going to die!” And then the predictable ending. Disaster movies also tend to be a bit unrealistic and exaggerated to add more dramatic effect. I guess the thing that keeps these types of movies getting made is the big “what if” scenarios and the study of how people react to the different situations. Or maybe there are some bored producers in Hollywood trying to reinvent the wheel.
As I said though in the last paragraph, the movie is not a total loss. The effects, although exaggerating things a bit, were thrilling. This would be something to see on a big screen or in 3D to get the full effect the film makers are wanting to achieve. The movie would make a great amusement park simulator ride. If you’ve been under a rock your whole life and never seen a disaster flick, then check it out when you see it on tv and have fun. If you have seen any of the many disaster flicks made since the 1950s, this one is just another “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” type of movie that happens to have some good special effects. 6 out of 10 on this one. Can’t wait for the May movies.