While “Aloha” can be considered a flawed movie, there’s no such redeeming for the latest disaster movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “San Andreas,” a film which asks the question no one was asking: What happens if the San Andreas fault tries to rip apart half of California?
The screenplay, written by Carlton Cuse, plays to every basic stereotype B-rate action and/or disaster movies have, making every character action and interaction predictable to the rate of complete boredom.
Imagine a script that actually includes a scene where The Rock skydives out of an airplane with Carla Gugino strapped to his chest, lands on second base at AT&T Park in San Francisco and immediately makes a sophomoric joke about feeling his soon-to-be ex-wife up. That’s everything you need to know about “San Andreas,” the lowest common denominator of disaster films.
Paul Giamatti is there, of course, in order to rant and rave — stirring the pot as a seismologist who lost his partner in an earthquake and has to yell at audiences to make his points now. It’s hard to believe that the emotional center of a film like “Sideways” has fallen this far from cinematic grace.
If there’s any saving grace in “San Andreas,” it’s that the film continues Hollywood’s trend toward dynamic, powerful female characters on screen. While Gugino’s damsel in distress character leans more on the side of stereotype than innovation, Alexandra Daddario’s Blake is able to traverse through the crumbling ruins of San Francisco with a tad bit more panache, leading a pair of bumbling British boys to safety.
“San Andreas” may be worth a look for fans of Johnson or those who simply want to completely turn off their brain for two hours. Beyond that, this disaster of a film should be passed in favor of much better work.