release date: 28 May 2015 (Canada)
run time: 114 mins
considered: Action, Drama, Thriller
director: Brad Peyton
starring: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Colton Haynes, Ioan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi, Paul Giamatti, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Will Yun Lee, Susan Minoque, Todd Williams, Matt Gerald, Alec Utgoff, Marissa Neitling
movie summary: In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his daughter. (www.imdb.com)
my thoughts: I just got to come right out and say it, I absolutely loved this movie! I would rank San Andreas right up there in the Top 5 best disaster films ever. So what if it was cheesy, predictable, and probably totally unrealistic? This movie had me on the edge of my seat for every breathtaking and death-defying moment. There were so many moments I thought I was the only crazy one in the theatre who would breathe a heavy sigh of relief when Ray (Dwayne Johnson) and Emma (Carla Gugino) survived what ever mother nature threw at them.
Just like every other major disaster film to hit theatres, Netflix, or YouTube it’s not about who survives, but how our heroes over come the odds and the crumbling world around them. I have always said that actors and actresses who spend a whole movie interacting with a green screen deserve so much recognition for their acting abilities. Johnson, Gugino, and their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) do an absolutely amazing job dodging crumbling buildings, falling objects, and moments stuck in tight spaces. I’m sure so many people will just go into this to bash it for being 98% CGI or just to see the Rock flex his muscles. Sure he is an amazing actor, as he was an amazing wrestler, but like some of his other movies he is surrounded by a fantastic supporting cast. Daddario really shines through the chaos when she gets stuck in San Francisco before the real problems start and the earth opens up. Gugino isn’t known for starring in action movies, but does a great job being Johnson’s love interest and side kick as they make their way up the crumbling west coast. Thanks to a tragic event during their marriage, these two will not stop at nothing to get to Blake in San Francisco no matter if it costs them their own live. I have to say I admired their heart, determination, and creatively to travel 180 miles which really seemed like a million miles away.
One the best aspects of this movie and all the craziness is Johnson’s character Ray. As a highly trained rescue chopper pilot in the Los Angeles area, Johnson brings smarts and strength to a character that looks capable of overcoming any and all obstacles. He may be a towering figure that would intimidate people in a panic, but he does come across a calm, cool, and collected first responder. Every situation he gets himself out of is breathtaking because there is no risk he’s not willing to take to get the mission accomplished. Sure people will judge him and say that nothing he did was remotely possible, but let’s be honest here, how many extreme sports athletes out there do seemingly impossible stunts on a daily basis. People think those guys are crazy, which may be true, but when the world is crumbling down around them, there isn’t a single thing that’s off the table to save lives.
my final thoughts: San Andreas is a movie that needs to be experienced on the biggest screen and best surround sound system possible. The special effects are spectacular, the acting is bang on, and the obstacles in this movie could rival anything else in the history of disaster films. I sure enjoyed myself on Thursday night when I caught one of the opening performances. Hopefully you give this movie a chance and not miss out on so much fun at the theatre.
my star rating: 9 out 10
imdb: 6.6 out 10
rottentomatoes: 49% out 100%
roger ebert: 3 out 4
richard crouse: 1 out 5