Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars
Bottom Line: Return of the disaster movie! Some great disaster sequences that are totally scientifically accurate!* Yes, it’s a little corny, but it’s a good kind of corny.
*Scientific accuracy may vary.
“San Andreas” begins with a teenager driving alone down what I can only assume is Highway 1. She’s searching for things in the back seat, texting on her phone, and all your usual distracted driving faux pas while ominously large vehicles pass her in the other direction. Then a rock slide comes out of nowhere and hurtles her and her car down the side of a cliff. Enter Ray (Dwane Johnson) via helicopter to save the day! Does she get rescued? You’ll have to see the movie to find out!
With that opening scene, “San Andreas” quickly establishes that this is meant to be more of a tongue-in-cheek type of movie than one to be taken seriously. It is fun and a little irreverent and pays painstakingly close detail to the minutest scientific detail.*
So yeah, not terribly scientifically accurate. But who cares if Hoover Dam is completely destroyed by a slightly higher than moderate earthquake? You get to see Hoover Dam destroyed! And who cares if two of the cities with the best earthquake preventative building codes get basically flattened? You get to see Los Angeles and San Francisco flattened! And who cares if a tsunami appears out of thin air where no tsunami would ever form? You get to see a tsunami roll over San Francisco! All of that and Dwane Johnson forsaking his job and dooming hundreds to die by stealing a rescue helicopter to rescue his ex-wife and then his daughter. Classic.
Yes, there are better movies out there, but “San Andreas” is fun. As a bonus, the daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario) is a tough cookie and not some damsel in distress. After an initial rescue by a love interest, it’s mostly her who keeps him alive and not vice versa.