Selfishness and Heroism Get Confused in the Dumb Rumble of ‘San Andreas’

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

san-andreas-001

Living in Southern California, there are two constant worries on the mind: earthquakes and bad movies. With San Andreas, Californians can simultaneously indulge themselves woefully inane disaster porn while watching a computer generated reproduction of their backyard being torn apart on screen. But there’s nothing in San Andreas that makes it work watching as the film is a moronic mess of muddled character motivations and massive set pieces overly reliant on CG effects.

San Andreas expends its limited amount of wit in the open scene of the film. A young woman driver is constantly being distracted while driving. She texts while driving. She reaches back for a water bottle on a winding road. Each time nothing happens. It’s a clever little fake out and the only clever thing to occur throughout the film. From there, the young girl is side-swiped by a rock slide. Her car tumbling down rocks, broken glass flying, as she flails around in the wreckage. Amazingly, this young woman is able to remain conscious, let alone survive, following such a violent fall. She dangles close to death until Ray (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and his team of rescuers swoop down and save her. Now you might think that this opening sequence, which involves Ray and his team being interviewed by television new reporter Serena (Archie Punjabi), would establish this team of men who worked together in Afghanistan will work together when the advertised earthquake hits. That’s not the case as the team are jettisoned, never to be seen again.

Following the narratively pointless opening scene, the film tries to put all its pieces in place before the eventual disaster. There’s Ray’s wife Emma (Carla Gugino), who has just recently filed for divorce and plans to move in with her billionaire boyfriend Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd). There’s also The Rock’s blue-eyed daughter Blake (Alexendra Daddario). Then there’s the CalTech seismologist Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and his partner Kim (Will Yun Lee). Finally, there’s the British man Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt), who for some reason brings his kid brother Ollie (Art Parkinson) along with him on job interviews. When the Big One hits, Ray is working as a rescue pilot in the LA area. He turns around from a rescue mission and flies into Los Angeles to save his soon-to-be ex-wife. After rescuing her, Ray receives a call from his daughter trapped in the rubble of San Francisco. Like any true hero, Ray turns his back as an emergency worker in the midst of a catastrophic emergency, diverting valuable resources to save his daughter.

Of all the many faults within San Andreas (get it?), perhaps the most unforgivable is the absolute wasting of Dwayne Johnson. One of the most charismatic actors working today plays a character that is as interesting as a wet paper bag. What really makes the Johnson’s character so astoundingly unlikable is the fact that, as mentioned earlier, he uses his position as a rescue worker to help his family, passing the plight of countless others along the way. This is a movie for people who thought Superman rescued too many people in Man of Steel. Singling out Dwayne Johnson’s Ray is to be unfair to the rest of the cast burdened with paper-thin characters. Carla Gugino is the ungrateful wife who never realized her husband’s bravery until she witnesses first-hand his disregard for others in an attempt to save his daughter. Alexandra Daddario may be a fine actress, but one would never know based upon her performances as a perpetual damsel in distress. She has the kind of character that is referred to as smart without presenting any corroborating evidence. The only actor to understand the inherent absurdity of the film is Paul Giamatti. The guy’s just a pro and is the only one that even remotely sells his character in the film.

It’s so hard to determine exactly who is to blame for the chaotic mess of San Andreas. Director Brad Peyton does sneak in slight moments of cinematic competence only to have them buckle under the weight of a shaky script. Penned by Carlton Cuse of Lost fame and based on a story by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore, the script is muddled and borderline nonsensical. It’s only concerned with moving from set piece to set piece without putting forth the effort to make us care what happens in these set pieces. For example, after just rescuing Emma, Ray receives a call from Blake – because cell service is perfectly functional after a catastrophic disaster. All this does is completely eliminate any tension. Everyone’s fine and in communication, not an ounce of suspense. But Peyton doesn’t do himself any favors in the big action set pieces either. Computer generated destruction of major cities isn’t anything new and lacking any kind of emotional investment in the characters or what is happening, it’s just this weightless devastation.

San Andreas is a movie that confuses the selfishness of its main character for heroism. I’d say that the film also confuses spectacle for story, but the story is nothing more than a bunch of events tied together by coincidence and the spectacle is lackluster at best, usually punctuated by ripping off the “BWARGH!” from Inception. I entered San Andreas with modest expectations, hoping mainly for a fun throwback to classic disaster films. What I found was a movie that isn’t even dumb fun, just dumb.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
digimon tri cast
Digimon Tri Cast Interview at Shout! Factory

Digimon Tri is the sequel to the second season of Digimon...

ronnie coleman
Become a King with a Free Gym Pass – Ronnie Coleman: The King Review

A long, long time ago before IG fitness models were a thing,...

netflix anime
New Anime Series for Netflix Starting this Fall

Netflix announced two new anime series during the Netflix Anime panel at...

Event News Event Reviews
Blizzard SDCC 2018
Blizzard SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment Brings Massive Lineup to SDCC

Blizzard in SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment brings Overwatch, StarCraft, and...

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018
Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR and Stern Pinball

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR...

Anime expo 2018
Anime Expo 2018 Brings the Heat to Los Angeles

Last year, I picked on Anime Expo not being worth the...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
klab
Exclusive Interview with Mark Mowbray of KLab

Established in 2000, KLab‘s goal is to create a world of excitement...

Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene
Mondo Games Unleashes Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene Board Game

MONDO GAMES unleashes Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene board game for 25th Anniversary...

Great Coffee Break
Escape Work By Playing The Great Coffee Break

You can escape work, in more ways than one, by playing The...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

black torch
Black Torch – New Supernatural, Action Manga from Viz Media

VIZ Media releases a new, supernatural story with the release of...

Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams
Sam Kieth Makes Long-Awaited Return to The Outback in Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams

SAN DIEGO, CA and BURBANK, CA (June 21, 2018) – Batman...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
anime pls
Anime Pls by Bioworld – Exclusive Interview

Bioworld Merchandising is a pop culture product expert. The company is considered...

heaven's feel
Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] THE MOVIE I. presage flower Blu-ray Release

TLDR Aniplex of America announced that box office hit, Fate/stay night ...

EVEN H2
Few Even Come Close – EVEN H2 Headphones Review

Even headphones are like having prescription glasses, but for your ears...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
NJPW G1 Special from San Francisco Results

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) the King of Sports returns to...

Jeanie Buss & MGM TV Tags AXS TV to Broadcast WOW-Women of Wrestling Events

Jeanie Buss and MGM Television Tags AXS TV to Broadcast WOW-Women...

Kevin Belington Faces Martin Nguyen for the ONE FC Interim Bantamweight Title

From ONE FC – 07 June 2018 – Manila, Philippines: The...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Harlan Ellison: A tribute (of sorts)

For the longest time in my life I was afraid of...

Iron Fist Racist
Is Marvel Iron Fist Racist? Part 2- Yeah…

After the casting controversy, two shows, and a guest appearance in Marvel...

Cultural Junkdrawer – Season’s end: The Flash season 4

CULTURAL JUNKDRAWER   SEASON’S END     THE FLASH Season 4...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

%d bloggers like this: