“San Andreas” Review

*EDIT*  If you were expecting a review of Jason Bourne, I’m sorry, you’ll have to wait on that.  There is a post that needs to be finished first (one that will explain everything), so here is one of my pre-WordPress reviews.  Hopefully, this will suffice for now.

As I think about all the disaster movies I have seen, I realize none of them are really that good.  Sure, they were all financial hits (2012, Independence Day, War of the Worlds), but they all had one thing in common, poor screenwriting.  San Andreas is directed by Brad Peyton, written by: Carlton Cruise, Andre Fabrizo, and Jeremy Passmore, and stars: Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino, and Paul Giamatti.  A rescue helicopter pilot must make it across California to find his daughter while massive earthquakes destroy everything around them.

I will begin this review with saying that the F/X (that means special effects in cinema lingo) are indeed spectacular, although I think too much CGI was used.  After a while, it got pretty obvious and distracting.  The story itself is nearly identical to 2012.  I can’t recite it word for word (because, spoilers), but I can tell you some of the lovely clichés used in this “story”.  *Takes a deep breath*  The parents are divorced, the stepfather is a jerk, the scientists who discover the disaster beforehand are ignored, the stepfather is rich, and many more.  Many convenient coincidences happen throughout this movie which completely took me out of the experience, and the complete lack of character development doesn’t help.  There was one point where I thought the step-father would actually be a nice guy (which would be a pleasant surprise) but halfway through creating his character, the writers just gave up.  The only good character would be the daughter (Daddario).  She is resourceful, supportive, smart, and kept her cool throughout the chaos.  Everyone else, I felt next to no connection to, not to say that the acting was not solid.  Dwayne and Giamatti are the best actors, while Daddario……., let me put it this way.  She is about 20% better than Megan Fox’s performance in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), but that is still sub-par.

The remaining points I want to hit would be the score and direction.  The score is pretty powerful, but doesn’t have enough emotion like in 2012, and the direction is pretty well-done.  If you were wondering, Brad Peyton directed: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, two enjoyable (but stupid) action movies, and he clearly knows how to showcase the wreckage and magnitude of the disasters which makes for some eye-popping moments.  However, poor characters, a lazy script, and slight overuse of special effects keep this from being anything close to something like Titanic, or Godzilla (2014).  I am sure in a year or two, this movie will be completely forgotten (like many other Dwayne Johnson movies).  San Andreas gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a C.

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