San Andreas (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action, Drama
Director: Brad Peyton
Distributor: Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.
Duration: 114 minutes

San Andreas (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Good: Great performances, stunning visual effects, entertaining
Bad: Lack of original storyline, certain unrealistic moments
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Earthquakes. We all know they happen on a regular base but we don’t pay enough attention to the possible destruction they leave in their wake. Most of us cannot comprehend the force of mother nature until it is already too late. How would you react if you were in a seismic event, violent enough to destroy an entire city the size of San Francisco?

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The film begins with a bang and it ends with a bang although the start has not much to do with future events. It does show the main protagonist Ray Gaines (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) in his element as a rescue-helicopter pilot, from which the movie builds upon. Later we discover that Ray is part of a broken family who were unable to stick together after one of his daughters had died in a tragic accident. We also learn that college is about to start and Blake (Alexandra Daddario), his only remaining daughter, heads out to San Francisco with her mother’s boyfriend Daniel Riddick whom is played by Ioan Gruffudd. In the meantime Dr. Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti), a professor in earthquakes has developed a program to predict seismic events. As the first earthquake hits, he realizes that more smaller earthquakes called an earthquake swarm are appearing along the San Andreas fault line. It is only a matter of time before San Francisco gets hit by a strong earthquake, or two. Ray’s soon-to-be ex-wife Emma (Carla Gugino) has been caught by the first earthquake far from San Francisco and Ray starts a solo rescue mission. When he thinks disaster has been avoided by saving his child’s mother, he finds out that his beloved daughter has been trapped by an even larger earthquake. Refusing to leave their daughter to her own devices and that of the rescue teams nearby, they head out to San Francisco and hope to find their daughter alive.

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The narrative in San Andreas is one that has been explored by many already, especially in disaster movies, but the un-original plot can be dismissed thanks to the wonderful execution of the entire movie. An emotional bond between the character and the viewer does not happen right off the bat but forms gradually as the movie progresses. The same can be said for the emotional bonding between the characters themselves but a disaster action film with such intensity doesn’t leave much room to connect characters in a way they do in romantic films.

While this is not based on a true story, the San Andreas fault line truly exists and the disastrous event the film depicts can truly happen someday, it is only a matter of time. When keeping that in mind, the galore of destruction and the stunning sceneries of earthquakes leaving a galore of destruction in their wakes in a Michael Bay-style, make the film hyper realistic but also surreal and truly immersive. Of course, an action movie such as this will have cliché moments or moments that are nowhere near realistic but luckily not everything was as predictable as you’d think.

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Any film lover has heard and seen Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and knows that his acting performance is stellar in the plethora of films he has already acted in. This is also the case in San Andreas which put the bar of performance quite high for his fellow actors. Compared to others, Alexandra Daddario who portrayed Blake performed slightly less. Luckily Art Parkinson and Hugo Johnstone-Burt, portraying the brothers Ollie and Ben, joined her in many scenes, creating a certain dynamic that made the scenes worth watching.

When you’re done being awestruck by the special effects of the movie there are tons of special features waiting for you including a gag and stunt reel. If those aren’t lengthy enough for you, you can always re-watch the entire film with commentary by the director Brad Peyton or learn insights on San Andreas: The Real Fault Line. The deleted scenes didn’t quite felt like they would add any spice to the movie in general but they’re there to be seen by curious viewers.

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San Andreas surpasses fellow-disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow when it comes down to acting performances and visual effects but it lacks an original storyline. Just like any action movie depicting a disaster, San Andreas can be seen as an over-the-top movie with Michael Bay-like special effects or it can be seen as an enjoyable and entertaining film that can rouse shocking “what-if” feelings in the viewers. Personally, I found the latter to be the case but opinions have varied on the matter. Either way, the movie is certainly worth watching at least once.

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Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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