The thing about disaster movies is that you pretty much know what to expect. Disaster movies almost always give us some good old-fashioned pandemonium but a poor script and one-dimensional characters are two things we have to bear as well. My expectations were pretty low going into San Andreas, yet, it somehow managed to disappoint me even more. San Andreas sees The Rock playing Ray Gaines, a LAFD search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, who in the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, must make a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his daughter.
Apart from a couple of moments, San Andreas is a movie that very much failed to entertain me, the movie definitely has its moments, but for the most part I was looking at my clock waiting for it to be over. The film is heavily let down by a poor script, that has the worst dialogue I’ve heard from any movie all year, unsurprisingly, the characters are as one-dimensional as I expected them to be, The Rock is the quintessential good guy who must save both his marriage and his daughter when this calamity hits, Alexandrio Daddorio is the hot daughter who’s there to basically look hot, Carla Gugino is The Rock’s seperated wife, who unsurprisingly, will get back with him at the end of the movie. And the clichés…Oh, the clichés. San Andreas plays out so many disaster movie cliches that towards the end you can see one coming from a mile away. The few moments the film does have are the scenes where the earthquake and tsunami are annihilating San Francisco, but gradually the earthquake begins to lose its novelty mainly because it’s used every five minutes and fails to have that same significance towards the latter part of the film.
The acting is nothing special either, Alexandrio Daddorio is the worst performer, her acting consists mainly of two expressions, but again, she’s not there to act is she? Carla Gugino makes the absolute worst surprised face which takes a lot away from her performance and The Rock is basically channeling every other lead performance he’s given in every other action movie he’s starred in. The only saving grace is Paul Giamatti who shines in the brief 15 minutes he’s on-screen as Caltech seismologist Lawrence Hayes who discovers a massive earthquake is about to hit and tries to warn people about it. If they made a two-hour movie about Paul Giamatti simply ranting and raving, I’d most definitely pay to see it.
All in all, San Andreas is a predictable, bland and boring disaster flick. The sub-par acting doesn’t help and apart from a few moments, San Andreas drastically falls short.