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Review: San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson and Alexandra Daddario star in Warner Bros. Pictures' "San Andreas"

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that there won’t be too many people heading into San Andreas believing that they’re going to see a film that will revolutionize the world of cinema in any fashion. All most will be hoping for is a movie that offers up a good time for them. I knew that if the people bringing this to the masses stuck with that approach, then there would be at least some of us leaving the theater satisfied after watching what looks to be the type of feature that’s very familiar in a ton of ways.

The film itself is not very complicated in the slightest. The events shown in here effect millions upon millions of people, but the story follows Raymond Gaines (Dwayne Johnson), a helicopter pilot who’s trying to save his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) and their daughter (Alexandra Daddario) after an earthquake like no other begins ripping the entire west coast to pieces. This extremely destructive time in this completely fictionalized history lends itself to something that has the chance to entertain at least some of the people watching.

San Andreas gives you everything you’re looking for in your average disaster movie. If you want more than that, prepare to be disappointed. As far as everyone else is concerned, you may find yourself having a better time than others demanding more from the films they watch. When saying that, I don’t mean it in a demeaning way. It’s just that some require that every film says something or is trying to be the picture of that year.

There’s no such thing going on here as we’re just asked to sit back and be entertained by the craziness that’s taking place. What you’ll find in this movie is a series of destructive cinematic events containing as many cliches as anyone could possibly think of. It’s clear that whoever thought this was a good idea didn’t feel that way in terms of artistry. They just wanted to tear things down and cause as much havoc as possible.

Much like the average film, there needs to be a few things included to put all of this together. That’s why we have a story centered around Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character and the family that is breaking apart. Like many of us, this is something that I could have lived without seeing, but it’s here and serves as a way to only take up time as far as I’m concerned.

In reality, San Andreas is slowed down by these side stories as we’re forced to learn about what drove this once loving family into this negative situation in the personal lives. To put it bluntly, this stuff is a waste and just takes us from watching The Rock battle through the greatest earthquake mankind has ever known. That’s what the movie’s about, and it’s the only thing we’ll really care about no matter how much they talk about the past events that separated the family.

Ultimately, I can’t say that San Andreas is a film that’s a complete waste of time for whoever decides to take the time to watch it. Sure, they could have used a better story and made an effort not to be so predictable, but overall, I can’t slam this movie since it’s there to entertain the people who are interested in it. Is it worth spending your money on? I wouldn’t normally believe so under the usual circumstances, but people may be interested in watching it on the big screen based on the size of everything that’s being showcased. Looking at it that way, I’d say that San Andreas succeeds even if it could have been better in quite a few ways.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Brad Peyton

Cast:
Dwayne Johnson
Carla Gugino
Alexandra Daddario
Ioan Gruffudd
Archie Panjabi
Hugo Johnstone-Burt
Art Parkinson
Paul Giamatti

Release Date: May 29, 2015

Film Length: 107 minutes

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

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