Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti, Archie Panjabi, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ioan Gruffudd, Art Parkinson, Will Yun Lee, Kylie Minogue, Colton Haynes
Directed By: Brad Peyton
WILL FORESHADOW YOU…
In a world… where foreshadowing lurks around every corner… one actor will struggle to maintain suspense under the most impossible of circumstances. Seriously though, San Andreas has more foreshadowing than almost any movie ever. The Rock plays a rescue pilot, and it turns out the film needs a rescue specialist as California is about to get FUCKED. UP. He’s also distant… because we need a sensitive Rock more than anything. And in case the ladies were wondering, there is no “Shirtless Rock” scene. Sorry. Dwayne, as he now likes to be called, plays Ray, a man whose life is in shambles because his daughter is going off to college, his wife left him for a really rich architect, and his youngest daughter drowned. He couldn’t save her. From drowning. Important. This is important.
Sorry, but in order to actually tackle the issue of how foreshadowing affects the film, we need to understand how prevalent the foreshadowing is. For example, in the most blatant case of foreshadowing, Ray’s daughter Blake (Daddario) is flying with potential stepfather and skyscraper developer Daniel (Gruffudd) who shows her a picture of his newest baby, which is a skyscraper being built in San Francisco (super handy, since they’re flying to San Francisco), and says it’ll be the most reinforced building in the city. Later on, the man who knows so much about skyscrapers can’t tell he’s in an earthquake, and has to be told by Blake. Also, the supporting character who wants to go check out the dangerous thing? Yeah, he dies. Just like in the horror movies. “Lets go check out that noise.” Dead. Panjabi and her cameraman are apparently the only reporters in California, because they start out by filming The Rock in the beginning, and end up interviewing earthquake specialist Paul Giamatti for the rest of the film. Blake meets Ben (Johnstone-Burt) and his little brother (who handily has a map of San Francisco, for when the electricity goes out and no one can use their phones) happens to be with him. Kinda like how Blake used to have a little sister? The list goes on.
The Rock does a good job anchoring this otherwise silly action film, and you know what? I really liked Alexandra Daddario too. I am almost always a fan of Carla Gugino, but I hated her in this. She never looks like she’s committing to the silly green screen effects, which makes her look like she’s in the middle of Sharknado instead of San Andreas. She’s not a bad actress, I guess she just couldn’t figure out how to imagine the world around her was crumbling. Johnstone-Burt isn’t good enough here for this to be a breakout role for him, but he was fine. Seems like a nice enough guy. Ioan Gruffudd works, I suppose, as a poorly written sometimes villain. Kylie Minogue is underused as a bitchy supporting character, who definitely needed another scene to be bitchy in. Giamatti is fine, and Panjabi is wasted.
The special effects are mostly OK, with only a few select shots being “obviously CGI”. When you get really great CGI that looks real, it looks fantastic. There are a few shots that I guess we left in because we ran out of budget money?
I know I’ve been slamming this film into the dirt, but it’s actually a moderately entertaining summer blockbuster. Yes, foreshadowing is everywhere. But The Rock is excellent in this, and Daddario is a breakout star. It’s not Independence Day, but it’s a long way from Sharknado.
FINAL GRADE: C+