San Andreas was a very passable disaster flick. In an ever increasing list of films which deal with end-of-the-world scenarios, it was just another addition but a very entertaining addition indeed. The subject matter this time was earth quake. A rescue helicopter pilot who has his family crumbling around him finds himself racing against time to save his only daughter as a massive earthquake hits San Francisco. Ray (Dwayne Johnson) had two daughters and one of them died in an accident while on a rafting trip with her dad. Ray was unable to save her and following the accident he grew more and more indifferent from his family leading to his wife finally dumping him for another man.
San Andreas works because of very many factors. Firstly the action and destruction is relentless which will find takers in the adrenaline-charged action fans. When I go in for an action film, I want action and this film is the sort which doesn’t try to be plot heavy or smart and just gives you what you are looking for. However, before Mother Nature starts tormenting our protagonist and millions of others, the film does well to establish the characters and somehow manages to make the audience like them. The Rock has a charismatic persona and he just keeps getting better and better. He seems totally convincing in his essay and even though he doesn’t have much of a hand to hand combat to boast off, he keeps nailing in his more than human abilities by pulling off some larger than life saves.
Some itzy bitzy dramatic sequences add to the likeability of the film. “Just get up against something sturdy, Protect yourself, the triangle of life…” says Ray as he saves a truckload of people by making them take shelter against a huge wall. His wife looks at him baffled and shocked but with reverence as if he was referring to himself who was saving her and she was the one who was about to dump him for another man who ran leaving her and their daughter to die. Ray’s daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) after being rescued by two brothers comes into her own and uses the things her father taught her to save not only her life but also that of the two brothers.
Paul Giamatti’s seismologist Lawrence, does everything in his power get the people scared and take notice but his speeches do work in extracting the audience’s interest as he uses some pseudoscience and dramatics to make maximum impact. He even loses a Good Samaritan team member who dies saving a little girl. Carla Gugino plays Ray’s wife and she remains stunned all throughout the movie. She says, Oh! My God more than once and it’s never in the bed room. Meanwhile the earthquake keeps piling up wreckage. Skyscrapers and constructions of national importance keep biting the dust and more people keep meeting their maker. The Tsunami sequence is pretty well done. The buildup of this sequence is good and the end result leaves little to be desired.
This is one film which is extremely good to look at. I regret not catching it in 3D. I believe that the 3D would very much enhance the overall look and film of this film and turn up some of the jumpy sequences to a level or two higher. The Rock yet again proves to be an anchor enough to keep a film like this firmly grounded. He takes it upon himself to ensure that the film finds its takers. Apart from the well done visual effects, the Rock is the next best thing about this film. Even the rest of the cast complements him wonderfully as the film roars towards a fitting finale. A film of two hours that seems about a half hour long thanks to its ceaseless entertainment, visuals and performances is definitely a worthy watch at any time.