When going in to see San Andreas starring the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, I didn’t have high expectations. My expectations of the film were met, but not by much. Its just a big budget movie with a story that isn’t all that intriguing with only the Rock’s performance and special effects holding it together.
The story is clichéd from the start with the main driving force of the main character that he is going through a divorce and still cares for his family. There really isn’t much to it other than Paul Giamatti’s character’s story. Paul Giamatti plays a professor at a university in California that so conveniently happens to have figured out that the San Andreas Fault line is going to give way, thus causing all the destruction in the film.
The acting in San Andreas is mediocre at best, mostly in part because of the dialogue, sounding scripted. You shouldn’t go into a movie with it being so obvious that the actors are reading from a script. It should feel real. For example when the film tries to take itself seriously it is hard to do so as a viewer because it seems forced. In fact you might find yourself laughing at times. Carla Gugino is at her worst in this film playing the soon be divorced (or not) wife of the Rock’s character for that very reason.
When it comes to characters the names are very forgettable. You know who is whom because of the acting talent but other than that it just comes to show how much story and character building was put into this film. It is kind of sad really with such a well-rounded cast with the likes of Paul Giamatti, The Rock, and Carla Gugino.
Despite the story and acting pitfalls, San Andreas does deliver on the promise on tons of destruction. The effects hold up decently, but there are moments through out that it looks like something out of a Roland Emmerich film (heavy and obviously CGI). Yet even those moments are just fun to watch. If you are going to see San Andreas it is best to see it in IMAX to get more fun out of the destruction.
Overall San Andreas is a “get what you pay for” kind of flick. Don’t go in expecting a great movie, but just one filled with fun action and destruction sequences. Just one could have wished that there was just enough focus on the special effects than the story and acting.
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language)
Running time: 1:47
Opens: Thursday evening