San Andreas film review.
My Ratings: 3.5/5.
A deadly combination of earthquake, tsunami and VFX; our mother-earth opening up and swallowing it’s children, skyscrapers tumbling down without the slightest hesitation, gigantic waves sweeping away the secondary characters, cities wrecked, people slaughtered.
Directed by Brad Peyton San Andreas is the perfect picture of havoc and destruction and we, the audience are thrilled by it.
Actually such ‘disaster’ films give us the satisfaction of experiencing a carnage without actually being a part of it; one feels the relief of being safe and acknowledges the somewhat unconscious gratification of leading a comfortable life.
But then again, these catastrophic films always tend to follow a few common plot points for success and San Andreas is no exception. For example:
1. Preference of muscles over emotions: A protective husband, an emotional father, a loving and caring man who can do anything for his family when put in crisis – that’s all fine but do you have enough muscles?
In order to rescue your family-members in time of such epic natural adversities, you must cast people who are ‘Rock’ solid in the muscle department (who better than Dwayne Johnson). I personally feel sorry for all those real-life fathers who wish to protect their children but doesn’t go to the gym that often!
2. A love story in the midst of all the danger: A smart/sexy girl gets stuck, desperately needs help and eventually gets rescued by her super-daddy (of course). But before all that drama, she has to fall in love with a guy (who generally is the helpful-decent type) and their sweet love story will give the audience the much needed breathing space from all the tension and destruction around. Alexandra Daddario is the perfect young, sexy girl in trouble and Hugo Johnstone-Burt becomes the dependable chap to fall for.
3. The geeky narrator: There will be this guy (generally some professor or computer expert by profession) whose role is to predict the intensity of the disaster and keep on repeating how epic and dangerous the situation can get; basically scaring the shit out of the audience. In San Andreas we have Paul Giamatti doing exactly that. He also takes great catches when small children are thrown at him!
4. A selfish guy who is really selfish: Have to have a character who will be a complete contrast to the protagonist. He will only think of himself and even deliberately put other’s lives in danger; basically an asshole. These characters elevate the intensity of the selfless acts and gestures put together by our Hero. Ioan Gruffudd is that guy who gets to take the blame in San Andreas.
5. The VFX becomes a primary character: The use of visual effects in almost each and every shot has become a necessity for such modern-day ‘disaster’ film’s success. The realistic feel of danger and calamity can only be experienced with the help of such super-detailed effects punched with loud background music (chance of a mild headache after the show). And then the 3D glasses enhance the experience further.
Stereotyped may be, logical may not be, but at the end of the day San Andreas (which is actually the name of a earthquake-porne fault line that runs through California) is exactly the film that it promises to be. Tension, action, effects and a racy story line – overall a good entertainer.
If you like this genre, you will definitely like San Andreas.