“The Best Disaster movie yet”
Thanks to Roadshow Films we had the chance to see Brad Peyton’s San Andreas before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself!
San Andreas follows the desperate journey of rescue pilot Ray (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) to search for his daughter (Alexandra Daddario) in San Francisco, after a massive series of earthquakes hit California, unleashing chaos across the entire area surrounding the San Andreas fault.
Following on from huge blockbusters like 2012 and The Day after Tomorrow, San Andreas is a new take within the disaster movie genre. This time, the story is very simple but realistic; the film is free of unnecessary jokes and has a strong family message, as viewers will be able to relate with the struggles of the lead characters who surrender everything in order to reunite with their loved ones against the odds.
Director Brad Peyton (Journey 2), not only got the hottest Hollywood star of recent years to play the lead role, but also surrounded himself with a huge amount of talent, including Paul Giamatti who plays the role of an expert seismologist. Carla Gugino makes an appearance as the brave ex-wife of The Rock’s character, and the fantastic Alexandra Daddario plays the lost daughter who finally proves that damsels in distress can be true heroes. She is one of the strongest characters in the film, applying all of her father’s teachings to guide a couple brothers to safety during the quakes.
Obviously, The Rock deserves his own paragraph, as the former wrestler once again shows the world why he can take on any role. This time, he plays a family man, leaving his action hero guise behind to reveal a more dramatic side, reminiscent of his excellent performance in the underrated film, Snitch (2013).
Perhaps one of the most surprising things about San Andreas is the fact that the film lacks a repetitive message of U.S nationalism (well, with the exception of one huge U.S flag near the end that made us feel like Michael Bay had directed that particular scene). The film doesn’t even depict the army saving the day or introduce unnecessary characters to the story, and the few that might slightly affect the plot have a really short time on screen, in order to center everything on the human conflict and survivors.
The special effects are impressive, and extremely realistic; every piece of glass falling from the collapsing buildings and structures has a reason. It’s not a festival of pointless special effects which is a common mistake of previous disaster films. In addition, the 3D technology enhances the experience and has been perfectly executed – you see the smoke, glass, water and concrete coming out of the screen the entire time.
Overall, San Andreas is an intense cinematic spectacle, a non-stop ride among quakes, explosions and tsunamis with a clever yet simple narrative.
Thus, the film might not win an award for the most original plot, but one thing is for sure: The Rock makes disasters look damn cool!
San Andreas opens in cinemas May 28, 2015