It’s been quite awhile since a big disaster movie has graced our theaters, but San Andreas is about to rock the world in this epic and special effects-heavy blockbuster.
If you couldn’t guess, San Andreas is about an earthquake that rips through cities along the Californian due to San Andreas fault shifting. Mass devastation ensues and San Francisco is soon getting a reputation for being the new Toyko (see Godzilla (2014)).
In this movie, Dwayne Johnson plays a Los Angeles Fire Department rescue helicopter pilot. His life is currently transitioning because he is getting a divorce from his estranged wife Emma (Carla Gugino), and she is moving in with her wealthy new boyfriends Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd). He also has to find time to see his daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) between his demanding job and with her living with her mother. All of the family issues can be traced back to the death of his other daughter died tragically.
There is another story that takes place in the movie surrounding Dr. Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti) a Caltech seismologist, his team and a group of reporters. Dr. Lawrence Hayes and his colleague Dr. Kim Park (Will Yun Lee) have discovered a way to predict earthquakes before they happen, giving further notice so that people can be evacuated. Unfortunately, their celebration is short-lived when they are testing at the Hoover Dam. An earthquake hits the area, causing the dam to collapse and along with Dr. Kim Park, be washed away.
After Blake travels with Daniel to San Francisco, a massive earthquake hits Los Angeles that causes Ray (Johnson) to have to rescue his soon-to-be former wife before the building collapses. This scene, like so many in the movie, is extremely tense. After the rescue, they get a call from Blake in their helicopter that she has been trapped in a parking garage. Everything is fine though because a pair of brothers Ben and Ollie, that Blake met earlier in the day, come to her rescue. The danger is far from over because we are only a half-hour into the movie!
The best word to describe this movie is tense. If you follow Filmention on Twitter and Facebook, you know very well that I ate my fingernails clean off while I was in the theater. There are plenty of near-misses, large-scale disaster scenes, and so much more. The vast amount of special effects added this feeling by not only putting the character up against several earthquakes, but plane crashes, sinking/collapsing buildings and a tsunami that engulfs San Francisco.
I disagree with the notion that special effects heavy movies are ruining the film industry. I think that special effects are enhancing it by allowing our wildest imaginations to realized and be shared with millions. I’ve read several reviews for this movie, and they all say that the special effects take away from the film. No one is going to see San Andreas expecting an Oscar-winning performance or some life-changing thing. Audiences all over the world are seeing San Andreas to see California fall into the ground, and buy over prices popcorns and sodas! I thoroughly enjoyed the special effects and the movie as a whole.
Simply, San Andreas is exactly the kind of movie that you would want to go see with a bunch of friends and just be entertained. The movie is a behemoth and is really one of my favorite disaster movies made in recent years.
San Andreas arrived in theaters May 29th, 2015 and stars Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino, Paul Giamatti, Colton Haynes, Ioan Gruffudd, Art Parkinson, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Archie Panjabi. The film is directed by Brad Peyton.