‘San Andreas’ is truth in advertising

by Trevan McGee on June 1, 2015

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Minor Rock Fist Down]

Let me get this out of the way: At no point ever in San Andreas, does Dwayne Johnson elbow drop an earthquake. Not once.

No, San Andreas, the latest from director Brad Peyton, who as previously worked with Johnson on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, is a straightforward disaster movie.

It’s too competent to be schlock, too dumb to be interesting and too concerned with spectacle to be entertaining.

Johnson plays Ray, a helicopter rescue pilot haunted by the one life he couldn’t save. It’s hard not to like Johnson as an actor. He’s action-movie charismatic, though this role offers him little room to be funny or really anything other than a man on a mission, this is thanks mostly to script by Carlton Cuse that, while efficient, does little to inject personality into its characters.

One of the only surprising things San Andreas does is spend time with characters other than Ray. A fair amount of time is spent with Alexandra Daddario, who plays Blake, Ray’s daughter. Daddario is most likely recognizable from her role in True Detective. Here, she plays a high school girl, which is a bit of a stretch. Of course, the first time we see Daddario she’s in a bikini and from there, it doesn’t get much better. Thankfully Peyton isn’t quite up to Michael Bay‘s level of objectification, but there’s always San Andreas 2.

Some disaster movies have an underlying message of conservation, and others are so absurd they’re unintentionally funny. 2012 was garbage, but it was at least unintentionally hilarious garbage.

Aside from a comically misplaced Paul Giamatti, and the realization that a rescue pilot turns his back on thousands of people in a disaster zone to save his daughter, San Andreas is sorely lacking anything resembling a personality.

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