San Andreas focuses on a normal day that suddenly turns disastrous when California’s notorious San Andreas fault decides to trigger a 9.0+ magnitude earthquake that rocks Los Angeles and devastates San Francisco. Having been called away to aid in the rescue of stranded visitors at the Hoover Dam collapse, LAFD search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) has no choice but to pass on sending his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), to San Francisco. The task then falls to his estranged wife, Emma (Carla Gugino) and her boyfriend, Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd). As Emma heads to a meeting with Daniel’s sister (Kylie Minogue) in Los Angeles, Daniel takes Blake to San Francisco in his private jet. Upon arriving in San Francisco, Daniel had to attend to some things in his office so he leaves Blake in the lobby where she meets potential Riddick employee Ben Taylor (Hugo Johnstone-Burt), and his little brother, Ollie (Art Parkinson).
Having hit it off very well, Blake leaves her number in Ollie’s guidebook before leaving with Daniel. As they were about to depart from the underground parking lot, Blake and Daniel experience tremors while in the limousine. Knowing that it was an earthquake, Blake voices her opinion and Daniel gives his driver the instruction to drive as fast as he could towards the exit. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time for them and the limousine fell through the newly created hole in the ground. Landing at a bad position, the driver gets crushed by a debris, trapping Blake behind him because of the weight. Frightened by the possibility of getting crushed by the debris, Daniel leaves Blake alone and promises to get help.
He heads back up to the lobby of his building to try and rally help but another tremor came on, shaking the building hard. A debris falls and nearly crushes Daniel. Not wanting to die in his building, he rushes out, caring about his life and forgetting about Blake’s. Ben and Ollie overhears Daniel previously while he was asking for help. Not wanting to leave Blake trapped, the brothers head down to the car park to rescue Blake. After doing so, the trio head out of the building in search of a landline for Blake to contact her father, Ray. Upon knowing that her mother and father are safe together, Blake sets out with the brothers to locate a safe spot for Ray and Emma to rescue them. While all this was happening, a professor (Paul Giamatti) with Caltech University was predicting the next possible waves of tremors and hits.
I’m not exactly a big fan of disaster movies because they always have me worried about impending earthquakes and massive tsunamis. I tend to find myself mapping out where I should be in order to survive an apocalyptic setting similar to those from the movies. This film was particularly exciting in terms of the visually stunning CGI and realistic setting. I really liked that they showed the bad side of humans as well, with the character Daniel Riddick. In a disaster situation, you don’t just find the good side of humans but also the selfish and bad side. The side which rather save their own skin then care about the lives of others. The scene where Daniel pushes another person aside just so that he could have his spot showed the true nature of a desperate selfish man.
Of course, I did think there were a couple of flaws with the movie. I’ll focus on two that really got me a little annoyed.
1. Ben’s injury
So before they got to the unfinished Riddick building, Ben had gotten kinda severely injured by a loose glass shard that pierced into his thigh. Ignoring the fact that Blake pulled it out without considering the possibility of a pierced artery, they were met with a tsunami. Even if the water hadn’t affected his leg (due to possibly wonderful bandaging skills from Blake), I don’t think the water had miraculous effects. Instead of looking worn out and very hurt, Ben surprisingly looks like he had an uninjured leg. His energy level seem to have returned and it almost looked inconsistent with the previous scene he was in. My friends and I were debating about this part and we concluded that it could be the adrenaline. But even so, Ben looked way too okay for a dude who just had a glass shard pulled out of his leg.
2. Blake and Ray’s reunion (as the water was rising)
I really didn’t like this part despite the touching moment. For starters, I felt that Blake’s loss of consciousness could be avoided if Ray hadn’t stayed there with her. I mean… Seriously? Only after seeing the life possibly go out of his daughter did Ray find the strength to get rid of the furniture standing in his way!? Instead of accompanying your daughter as she gives up, shouldn’t that give you the ultimate motivation to get to her? I’m sorry but if it was me, I wouldn’t give up so easily and I’d rather my dad try his hardest than listen to me give up.
With that said, I obviously have a new dad figure in mind (besides Liam Neeson). On the way home, I remembered thinking if I could hassle my dad into possibly signing up to be a volunteer firefighter. Of course; he does not have The Rock’s physique but at least he’ll be able to have a part of Ray’s qualities right?
All in all, San Andreas is a pretty good disaster film. I actually liked this film better than 2012. So, if you enjoy a good disaster film with fantastic visual effects, this is the film for you.