As I am not a resident of New York, LA or any major city in the world with an instantly recognisable skyline I know that I have little to fear from any end of the world type situations. Despite my high chances of survival there is something about disaster films that terrify me. I lost weeks of sleep after Deep Impact and the dodgy script isn’t the scariest thing about Titanic. The trailer for San Andreas looked like classic disaster type fare with the added bonus of Dwayne Johnson’s sweaty headed intensity. It was an easy sell.
PLOT: After several earthquakes hit California helicopter pilot Ray (Dwayne Johnson) commandeers his ‘copter and sets off to rescue his ex-wife (Carla Gugino) and thirty year old teenage daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario). We finally find out where Rickon Stark went and The Rock squares off against a tidal wave. END PLOT
I judge anyone who paid good money to see San Andreas and then cried out in shock and alarm that the plot of the film was not a complex think piece subtly hinting at mankind’s destruction of the world. San Andreas was never intended to be anything more than a leave your brain at the door film and this was fine with me. The five people in San Francisco that have names survive a series of events that grow in both spectacle and ridiculousness and I was fully invested in the ride.
Despite my ability to go with the flow my love of Dwayne Johnson is what made it easy to enjoy the film. Johnson is watchable and looks good driving a range of vehicles in dramatic situations. Carla Gugino and Alexandra Daddario are very capable in their clichéd roles of ex-wife and daughter-in-danger. The cast also contained my favourite sad-sack Paul Giamatti. Giamatti is saddled with the task of making the science seem intelligent whilst hiding under a tiny desk and I enjoyed his limited screen time very much.
The action scenes are loud and messy and San Francisco is successfully destroyed with the earthquake taking out the characters that were the biggest dicks first. Poor Kyle Minogue. The body count was suspiciously low but I put that down to Giamatti’s well delivered warnings about getting the fuck out of dodge in a calm and orderly fashion. There were a few tense moments but thankfully the American flag blowing gently in the breeze at the end of the film gave me confidence that the people of California would endure.
San Andreas is pure cinematic nonsense and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the stupidity unfold. If you hated the film I can understand why but you can keep your distain to yourself. I had a great time in what will probably be one of the most enjoyable cinema trips of the summer. San Andreas gets 7/10. Dwayne Johnson makes everything seem better than what it is.