San Andreas


KRT FOOD STORY SLUGGED: DINNERTONIGHT KRT PHOTOGRAPH BY E. JASON WAMBSGANS/CHICAGO TRIBUNE (March 14) A long-cooked chili with Illini roots gets a speedy makeover, perfect for surviving March's basketball tournaments-or the weather. (jt) 2005

     What can surpass the awe inspiring destruction of 2012, that is, the destruction of earth and story making. Nothing honestly. 2012 was the mother of all disaster movies in its ridiculousness, special effects, and story. Honestly when I saw the trailer for San Andreas I was tempted to fall asleep. Another disaster movie? Come on… But in truth a disaster movie every now and then would be cool and San Andreas is a mild, exciting disaster movie that tones it down and gives us something a bit more realistic to watch.

Story Development. The story is decent with well rounded characters to worry for. Dwayne Johnson plays his familiar role and holds it well throughout. He is the “Rock”, so despite the suspense and fear of the coming disaster its hard to feel scared for him because…well… he’s the “Rock”. San Andreas is nothing new and the ending is cliche but it is a very decent disaster movie. With this though it severely lacks originality, art direction, and plot. When I say it lacks plot it lacks a new story worth learning about. Its the same old, save my family and get out as fast as I can (Day After Tomorrow). I kinda wish the movie ditched the “save the family” scheme and opted for a rescue mission story in the aftermath of an earthquake where we can see Dwayne play in his new rescue hero facade. That would have been interesting. “The Guardian” meets apocalyptic fiction.

Acting. Good Hollywood acting. Sucky Real Life acting. Can I find a disaster or apocalypse movie that is big budget yet contains some real emotional turmoil in the main characters? Everyone reacts rather nonchalant and controlled whenever a building crashes over them or a loved one is about to die. They may even add a few jokes in between several hundred people getting hit by a ocean liner on 10th street but no worries were all good… The acting is solid but it lacks that jolt that brings you into the reality of the horror and terror of the disaster. “The Impossible” was one of those disaster movies that lacked special effects but its horror and terror was emphasized more than any other disaster movie by its emotional turmoil. Too bad the director on this film didn’t think of that. Then again this is just a popcorn film.

Musical Score. Its a tough strong rousing epic theme with hints of a choir breathing out dismal and haunting tones. Mostly the score resembles a tough guy working out his muscles in a gym as if he was training for the olympics. I understand I use weird descriptions for music but this helps me see the music personified to help you understand the feel of it. The music is epic no doubt but it doesn’t evolve throughout or pace the movie into a three act film. Its constant and unchanging. Cool stuff, but sounds like it was written once and done away with. Not custom, just factory made.

Special Effects. Best part of the movie hands down and the detail used for the real effects of an earthquake was quite breathtaking. It felt as if the movie really adopted the details that make an earthquake an earthquake. Its not just buildings collapsing and people getting smashed. The water becoming waves in the pool, the chairs vibrating on the deck, and a building sinking one floor at a time are just a few of the small details that makes the special effects unique. 2012 was just destruction on steroids. San Andreas is thoughtful destruction, scientific even. Not matter what though, its a popcorn movie and yes, there is a ridiculous amount of carnage and smashed buildings. At least its done in class and is entertaining.

Conclusion. The movie is severely cliche, fun, and basic. Its not a custom fit movie and it feels factory made as if Hollywood needed a good movie to bolster the studio and so they pitched this film. At least its clean and enjoyable and taught unlike your typical cash grab films. Don’t expect much but if your looking for something decent to watch in theaters this is the best pick. But if this movie came out the same weekend as Jurassic World, San Andreas would be easily forgotten and tossed in the back seat. Ever since 2012 we’ll always be saying it when we watch the latest disaster film like this one… “it could have been worse…much worse.”


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