Shake It Off
San Andreas is directed by Brad Peyton (Journey 2 The Mysterious Island) and stars Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious Series, G.I Joe Series), Carla Gugino (Night at the Museum, Watchmen), Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson Series, Texas Chainsaw 3D), Hugo Johnstone-Burt (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Goddess) and Art Parkinson (Dracula Untold, Love, Rosie). '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'. San Andreas is the latest entry into the 'disaster movie' genre - will it be an utter disaster or a big success?
San Andreas is a pleasant surprise - I wasn't actually excited for this film at the start of the year but once it released its trailers - my interest increased. Yes, it is a typical Dwayne Johnson movie - full of cliches, cheese and predictable moments but that doesn't stop it from being a fun movie! San Andreas had a much bigger impact than I thought it would.
The story is very generic and doesn't really explore anything we haven't seen before. However, the story is also very heart-warming and includes a very strong message about the meaning and importance of family. This was actually a nice message to be seen in a disaster movie - even though it is one of the cliche messages that any movie can display. The film also broke stereotypes in some ways - Blake (Daddario) helped the two English boys more than they helped her which shows females in a more superior and positive light.
San Andreas has two major problems that stop it moving from being a 'fun' to a 'great' movie. The first is that atmospheres weren't created - the earthquake was extremely random and I felt that a bit more building up could have been done. However, could this represent how unpredictable earthquakes can be? They could at least have created a tense score or characters who are stressed (rather than amazed) at the chance of an earthquake. This kind of made the film feel like a mixture of pieces from a variety of Jigsaws that didn't always match up. Even at the beginning, the film jumps from a cheery Taylor Swift pop song to a woman who could easily die - no atmosphere is created at all!
The second major problem is the acting. There were three actors who were good for most of the time and thankfully they were the main characters - Dwayne Johnson was good but obviously had some cheesy lines, Carla Gugino was probably the best and Alexandra Daddario was good too. However, the quality of acting peaks there. Hugo Johnstone-Burt is the reason why TV actors rarely get a big break on the silver screen - he was likeable but he didn't really do much with the material he was given. The worst actor award in San Andreas goes to Art Parkinson - he literally just read the lines he was given - he did nothing at all with them and was probably the most wooden actor that I have seen in a film this year. Kylie Minogue has an appearance in the film - it was fun to see her play an unlikeable character. The bad acting doesn't start there - Paul Giamatti had the look of a 'scientist/geographer' but didn't deliver with his lines - he wasn't great and his acting felt extremely forced.
I can shake off all of those two bad things though because the visuals for this film are faultless; I don't recall any scene where I could spot a visual effect that didn't look very realistic - it all did! The stunts were also very impressive and the explosions were good too! This earthquake really did have a big impact on San Fransisco.
San Andreas is generic and unsurprisingly full of cheesy and heartwarming messages. The Rock is on top form and has produced a film that may shake up the disaster movie genre - why does it always have to be about the end of the world? Specific locations can be in trouble too! Gugino and Daddario put on good performances but the english boys and Giamattic are not going to get any big breaks from this. San Andreas is visually stunning and has flaws that can be shook off as this popcorn flick is fun, dumb but truly enjoyable.