San Andreas (2015) – Film Review


Director: Brad Peyton
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario
Certificate: 12

by Anel Blazevic

Whether deliberate or not, the curious absence of household names in the San Andreas cast list at least lends each character an edge-of-seat disposability for the endurance of this spectacular, albeit flawed, disaster flick.

Indeed, the real star of this movie is the 9.0 Richter Scale knee-trembler that terrorises California. Via a series of jaw dropping set pieces it will just about keep you interested through the inevitably tagged-on and half-realised back stories.

The quake sequences are spectacular – even by today’s standards. They are embellished with some of the most astonishing sound effects I’ve ever heard. All zig-zagging stereophonic cracks and ominous deep bass rumbles that literally make the hairs on your neck stand to attention. Technical Oscars must surely beckon.

san andreas film review the rock

“Zig-zagging stereophonic cracks and ominous deep bass rumbles”

Seemingly taking the equally flawed but equally apocalyptic 2012 by Roland Emerich as its template (great visuals/weak storyline), San Andreas sees Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at the epicentre of the classic (cliched?) broken-family-mended-by-disaster plotline.

He races here, there, everywhere, uniting the disparate strands of his close family. There’s just enough extraneous ‘can’t save everyone’ type deaths to keep it believable.

Course, all this is just the bare bones framework for big daddy earthquake to make his entrance. And, when it does, it’s worth the entrance fee alone. That’s not to say after an hour of collapsing buildings, screams and noise you won’t be suffering from natural disaster fatigue. But if you’re prepared to leave your brain and your sense of disbelief in the foyer, you might actually get a good night out here.


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