It’s impossible not to love Dwayne Johnson. He has it all: massive biceps, a mile-long smile, a wonderful sense of humor, and a tough attitude. When he is the main star, he gives what the audience wants. Even though he can choose the strangest roles (Tooth Fairy), action films (Fast and Furious) is what he comes across best. San Andreas, the latest disaster flick, is no exception. Even though there are a lot of problems, I’m surprised how much I enjoyed the movie. It knows what it wants to be, and it delivers.
Johnson plays Ray Gaines, a helicopter pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department. He and his wife Emma (Carla Gugino) recently filed for divorce. His daughter Blake (Alexandra Dedarrio, Percy Jackson) is in college who is going have a job in a high-rise building that his mother’s boyfriend Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd) developed in Downtown San Francisco. Meanwhile, a Caltech seismologist (Paul Giamatti) and his colleague create a breakthrough where they can predict an earthquake. When a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Hoover Dam, it starts to connect with the San Andreas Fault, causing a 9.1 earthquake. Ray saves his ex-wife in a restaurant in L.A., and they go to San Francisco to save their daughter.
San Andreas is your typical summer action flick. Loaded with CGI, some cheesy one-liners, a star-studded cast but limited character development. Director Brad Peyton is aware on how stupid the movie is, but he can create a better-looking disaster movie than Roland Emmerich or Michael Bay. The scene where a tsunami hits San Francisco is one of the most jaw-dropping special effects sequences of the year. Even though The Rock does a good job, I think the scene-stealer is Paul Giamatti, who gives some interesting scientific knowledge on earthquakes. The moral of the story is always listen to seismologists.