SAN ANDREAS (2015 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

San Andreas successfully surpasses the normal B-grade status into which many disaster films naturally classify themselves. This film becomes one of Dwayne Johnson’s better films as it creates a highly balanced and believable mix of his tender family side with his wrestling/action movie persona. Casting chose Carla Gugino as his character wife, Emma Gaines. That choice turns into the perfect onscreen team for careening through an earthquake-destroyed California coastline. The visual and special effects departments managed one of the best disaster movies yet by eliminating those troubling blurry scenes as buildings crumble and fall as well as the redundant ‘I’ve seen this before’ feeling that plagues action/disaster movies. This film shows craftsmanship and care of artisanship in every scene. That care results in an overall movie effect that can be only described as: enthralling. The attempt at marriage repair is not overdone. The loyalty to family and concern for child safety manages itself well. The film’s story is not too fast, loud, or busy. It’s just right.

Storyline

Raymond Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) and Emma Gaines (Carla Gugino), in the throes of marital separation, find themselves working together to rescue their daughter, Blake Gaines (Alexandra Daddario), while California crumbles under their feet.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Brad Peyton for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Bruce Berman, Richard Brener, Samuel J. Brown, Rob Cowan, Michael Disco, and Tripp Vinson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd), Serena Johnson (Archie Panjabi), Dr. Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti), Ben Taylor (Hugo Johnstone-Burt), Ollie Taylor (Art Parkinson), and Dr. Kim Park (Will Yun Lee).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This action/disaster film fills the ticket quite nicely for action fans. There’s a lot going on, but not too much. The blare and glare that has plagued action/disaster movies over the past several decades has been toned down to just the right level so that an audience can appreciate the artistry and absorb each event-filled scene with greater attention to detail. It’s more natural.

Ben Meyers

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