Earthquakes, crumbling buildings, title waves, and underwater rescues are just a few of the scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat in the latest disaster film, San Andreas. This movie begins with Ray (Dwayne Johnson) talking to his wife Emma (Carla Gugino) about their impending divorce when an earthquake hits the state of California. Emma is in a building in the city of Los Angeles that is collapsing so Ray jumps in his helicopter (did I mention Ray is a rescue helicopter pilot?) and swoops in to snatch Emma from the rooftop just in the nick of time. As if things aren't bad enough for Ray, his daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddorio) is in San Francisco where the epicenter of the earthquake is causing most of the damage with catastrophic results. Ray receives a desperate phone call from Blake saying she‘s pinned inside a car in a parking garage and he and Emma turn the helicopter toward San Francisco to find her. I wonder: Won’t it take hours to get there? Do they have enough gas and shouldn’t he be rescuing people in the area? (If you’re the Rock, it’s possible to do all of this.) The helicopter doesn’t make it halfway when it crashes and the two somehow walk away from the wreckage. They find a truck and drive several miles, then acquire a small plane that Ray can pilot – of course - the rest of the way. They can’t land the plane because of the devastation on the ground, so Ray shows us his skills as a tandem parachutist - shocker - and he and Emma jump. Within walking distance, they see a large speedboat that Ray – say it with me – can captain like a pro. Of course, the boat is big enough for them to traverse a tidal wave. (I was exhausted by now and they still hadn’t found their daughter.) There is a simple back story about why Ray and Emma are divorcing but that is primarily a segue to allow people a breath between action scenes. For some reason, Dwayne Johnson has some sort of charm and charisma that people love no matter what type of role he takes on. Yes, the movie is formulaic but who cares, it’s all about the nonstop action. Of course, I couldn't see any of it but I enjoyed a unique score that helped the audience feel some of the terror that people experience during a monumental catastrophe. This movie doesn’t bring anything new to the natural disaster genre, but the family should enjoy it and I’m giving it a B- rating.
This movie has been given a PG13 rating by the MPAA
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