San Andreas

2015 • 114 minutes
4.2
16.7K reviews
48%
Tomatometer
PG-13
Rating
Eligible
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About this movie

After the infamous San Andreas Fault finally gives, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake in California, a search and rescue helicopter pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter. But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning. And when they think the worst may be over…it’s just getting started.
Rating
PG-13
4.2
16.7K reviews
Kyle Vansteelandt
July 23, 2021
Big earthquakes, a big hero, and big heart all adds up to one big blockbuster. The premise seems to tread into familiar ground; a father (Raymond Gains) who is divorced has to save her daughter (Blake Gains). This reminded me of the timeless action film "Taken" from 2008, because it has that familiar family formula where a father saves his daughter. However, his daughter has not been taken by bad guys. Instead, she is trapped in San Francisco along with her two friends who are brothers (Ben Taylor and Ollie Taylor). Instead of going alone, Raymond's ex-wife (Emma Gaines) is going with him, and they are counting on each other. This happened during a massive earthquake that has been caused by the San Francisco Fault. There are some aspects that are a major asset that compensates it's familiarity: Unlike "Taken," "San Andreas" has a huge amount of compassionate heart and takes it's theme of family very seriously; two parents that are divorced come together to work as a team with perseverance to save their daughter, as well as other people. What about the craftsmanship? Well, this film is directed by Brad Peyton, and the screenplay is written by Carlton Cuse. They have structured some quick instantaneous suspense, and even from the start of the suspenseful moments, they are gripping. Some of the suspenseful moments have been constructed by the moving camera, revealing what is happening next. The screenplay contains some astonishing passages, like a gigantic building falling in front of someone, Emma falls and collapses a few times in a building that is being demolished. Of course, there are some impressive large-scale cinematography that looks rather dramatic for an epic film. There is also some unsettling scenes involving a helicopter and a boat as if they would be great for a 3D or even a 4D visual roller coaster ride at an amusement park. What really supports the dramatic effect is the tone that is well-utilized for uneasy impact. There are even some funny moments that made me laugh at times too; The protagonists are saying dialogue that sells the witty results and a jerk that was about to be smashed. With a 110 million dollar budget, there is no surprise and no denying that the visual effects looks so photorealistic and were manipulated superbly. The cast has nailed there roles very hard with authentic acting that delivers effective results. The characters have depth that is strong enough to convince me and make me care for them. Dwayne Johnson was phenomenal as the main protagonist "Raymond Gaines." He is a fire department helicopter pilot with his brazen sympathetic personality, and he is very knowledgeable with his quick wits. Carla Gugino was also great as Emma. The chemistry between the two has been handled wonderfully; two divorced parents who actually trust each other and even have sympathy for each other as well as their kids, as they are desperate to save their daughter. Now that is pleasing to see. The Taylor brothers (Hugo Johnstone-Burt and Art Parkinson) were great, as they use teamwork and help each other. Paul Giamatti has some lively energy to his performance as Dr. Lawrence Hayes the seismologist who can predict the earthquakes. The acting does not feel forced or simple, Brad Peyton is probably an expert on how to make real people out of the actors here, as they have added credibility to their performances to add emotional gravity to the drama. Speaking of emotional gravity, Andrew Lockington (the film composer) did a great job with this grand emotional score. My only problem with this film is that it mentions that the largest magnitude earthquake caused by the fault is 9.1 to 9.5 to 9.6, which is inaccurate. The largest magnitude earthquake was actually 8.3. But this is not a biographic drama that's based on a true story. In conclusion: a pleasant large-scale disaster drama that won me over with strong high-energy performances and a surprisingly huge amount of compassionate heart. Recommended.
Johnnie Phillips
November 17, 2015
From the opening scene to the Grand finale, this movie does nothing new and does everything predictably. The acting isn't terrible but the script is. I never really cared what happened to any of the characters and if you couple that with every potentially pivotal moment being extremely easy to predict, it creates voids where tension should be. If you just want to see California get wrecked by earthquakes without any surprises or need to use your brain, it'll do fairly well for you.
3 people found this review helpful
dennis schwindt
September 28, 2015
Because this movie was just god aweful. People please do NOT waste your money. It's a good plot but they try to rush to much in too short of time there's a lot of contradictions in it. It's a bad bad BAD MOVIE! It's so predictable what's gonna happen throughout its pathetic. Great effects but that's it. If you've seen the day after tomorrow you've seen this and any other movie like it...NOW if they would have added maybe an hour to elaborate on things that happen in the movie it would be better..too rushed
25 people found this review helpful