In San Andreas, California is experiencing a statewide earthquake that goes on record as easily the biggest earthquake in history. Dwayne Johnson plays Ray Gaines, a helicopter rescue pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department, who is trying to find his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who is in San Francisco amidst the chaos. Ray’s estranged wife, Emma, is forced to turn to Ray for help, as he is her last resort. Together they journey to save their daughter.
This is a classical Hollywood movie, thin plot and a lot of effects. However, this time, I quite liked it. Actually I liked it a lot. The plot, although thin, is not altogether bad, it holds together even though are quite a few unbelievable moments. However, put in the context of a traditional disaster movie, it is not bad.. Maybe this is what I like about the movie. It is really a good old fashioned disaster movie.
When I first read the blurb about this movie I was afraid that it was going to be a big apocalypse at the beginning and then it was going to be a “slow” search for Ray’s daughter. It is nothing of the kind. It has a decent build up of suspense up to quite a few more or less spectacular earth quake scenes … and then it continues. I was pretty happy that there was a decent build up from the start but I was even more happy that the initial earth wrecking event was actually not the big event.
As I wrote at the beginning, the plot is pretty thin. The special effects are not however. At least, I liked them. Not surprisingly houses a are falling over like there was no tomorrow (which for a lot of people there are not) but it is done quite well. I also liked the scenes where the earth wobbles when Ray and his wife flies over it in his chopper. I found that quite cool. There are a few moments that are, well let us say not too well thought through. For instance the classical collapsing building that collapses in the just the right pace for the heroes to do there job. The we have when Ray and his wife speeds through the waters of Los Angeles after the quake, which are riddled with trash. The amount of trash in the water would have rendered their propeller useless after a few hundred meters. But then, I think I am too much of an engineer now.
Speaking of Ray’s wife. That was one of the things I really did not like with the movie. Maybe the movie directors and actors in Hollywood are so used to divorcing all the time that they think it is a “standard” plot element and do not think twice about it but for us other “ordinary” people it is a tragedy (especially people outside of the US apparently if one should go by the trash that is spewed out from Hollywood all the time) and I really do not want to watch that crap all the time in movies and TV-shows! I was actually tempted to downgrade the movie at last a star, even two, for that crap but what the heck, it is a good movie and I do like “The Rock”.
So after, after that little outburst, I have to say that I this one was a really enjoyable movie. One of the few lately that I have watched. It is a quite good, classical, disaster movie with a good build up, really good effects and a good and happy ending (for the main characters at last) and I am a sucker for happy endings.