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San Andreas :Movie Review

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario

Director: Brad Peyton

Close to half time of the movie, we see one of the leading characters screaming for help. "Help me! I am stuck, please... help me!"

The above line perfectly describes condition of almost all the people sitting in there for the first show of this movie. Directed by Brad Peyton, who also directed 'Journey-2: The Mysterious Island', the movie falls under the long and tiring list of disaster movies made in Hollywood, so far. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, and Alexandra Daddario, San Andreas is your typical popcorn flick with the same wine repacked in a bottle from 2015.

San Andreas poster

The movie starts with Ray, played easily by 'The Rock', leading a crew to rescue a girl from a valley. The entire scene has been shot tremendously and gets the adrenaline in your body going. Just when you prepare yourself for the buildup of what appears to be an exciting storytelling saga; you are thrown into the pool of cliches, with a broken family, distressed father, and a selfish boyfriend. Yes, this is '2012' all over again.

The biggest drawback of this movie is that it offers nothing new, absolutely nothing at all. You can literally recite the script of movies like 'Volcano', '2012', and the 'Day After Tomorrow', simultaneously. Our characters shelter themselves in what is earlier described in the movie as the tallest and strongest building of San Francisco. It's a building under construction and belongs to the boyfriend of one our lead characters. Boom! Remember that building from 'Volcano', we bet, you do.

We again have a couple of scientists, looking to predict the calamity, and in the process, we see a repetition of what happened in the movie 'Volcano'. Cliches, cliches, and just more cliches are what make this movie so disappointing. The mere mention of San Andreas happens after an hour of the movie. There is the shot of a cargo ship falling over the Golden Gate Bridge, again inspired from '2012'. We have a helicopter flying through falling sky-scrapers, and we are immediately reminded of that plane flying through Las Vegas in '2012'. A motorboat is seen at the end of the movie cruising through a collapsing building, and bam! A clear image of limousine doing the same 4 years ago, in what NASA called the dumbest movie of all time shadows our mind.

Unfortunately, cliches are not this movie's only problem. The director failed to impart any imagination or magnitude in storytelling. We have the iconic 'Hoover Dam' collapsing in the first fifteen minutes and a scene that could have been played out brilliantly is shot rather in a mediocre manner. An opportunity wasted, clearly. Again, the destruction of the city is not done in a manner that can amaze us. Even as an amateur viewer, one can easily predict what's coming.

Alexandra Daddario in San Andreas

USA hosts the biggest earthquake in recorded history and yet, there is not a single mention of the White House, the President. I am not saying that it was necessary, but then, these are elements that add depth in a movie. Apart from the 5 leading characters, and another one, who is placed in the movie only because the 'tallest and strongest building' required an owner, there is no sympathy or time for other characters.

Dwayne Johnson as Ray tried to add versatile emotions to the character, and does decently. The other cast members do what they are expected to do, that is shout and run.

The direction is shabby in places, and the rest of the shots are handled decently by CGI. Directors need to understand that it's alright if your lead characters don't have much luck in a disaster movie. Let the movie be about the disaster and not the people you hired on handsome paychecks.

Fortunately, there are people with an appetite for this genre, and the movie should do an average business worldwide. However, don't go in with any expectations, and you won't come out disappointed. For the ones who are regular at the multiplexes, you might as well take a trip down the memory lane of other disaster movies from the 90s and the previous decade.

It's not a bad movie, but it's not very good either. If you like this wine, feel free to ignore the bottle.


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