'San Andreas' crumbles skyscrapers into dust...over and over again
May 29, 2015
“San Andreas” - A 9.6 earthquake rocks California along the infamous fault line, and it is up to “The Rock” to save the day.
The filmmakers do not ask Ray (“The Rock”), this Los Angeles fireman with over 600 rescues to his name, to fly underneath the earth and move tectonic plates (“Superman” (1978) reference), but instead “simply” rescue his daughter (Alexandra Daddario) and estranged wife (Carla Gugino) from constant danger.
Director Brad Peyton pulls together some heart-stopping sequences during first 50 minutes, as the main actors do a convincing job of projecting fear while surrounded by “green screens”.
In fact, if the movie ended at minute-50, I would have been surprisingly satisfied with this massive special effects picture as rental.
Instead, the movie runs another hour, and Peyton subjects us to a constant barrage of making skyscrapers look like graham cracker cookies crumbling into dust.
First, Los Angeles falls apart and San Francisco is next, but - quite frankly - just a smidge of the spectacular special effects go a long way.
After a while, the constant catastrophe simply becomes repetitive, and it eventually bored this movie-goer.
I suppose when you see one major city fall by a massive earthquake, you've seen them all.
There is also the film’s built-in implausibility of Ray - without a GPS - finding his wife and daughter among the extreme rubble of California’s two largest cities.
I knew suspending disbelief would be a challenge, but I did not expect to hear various characters speak/call/scream the name “Blake” - Ray's daughter who finds herself in peril for 112 out of 114 minutes of the film's runtime - about 1,000,006 times.
Well, if anything, “San Andreas” could be a terrific drinking game. (2/4 stars)