Review: 'San Andreas'


[vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text disable_pattern="true" align="left" margin_bottom="0"]Hollywood has seen fit to gift us all a decent amount of earthquake movies. Some involve volcanoes, some star Brittany Murphy and Eriq La Salle. Hell, one is even called Earthquake. But it remains an interesting phenomenon for filmmakers to tap into because, as one character in San Andreas explains, their recurrence (both in the United States and, more recently, abroad) is more a matter of "when" than "if." That's indeed the case in 2015's latest action-packed endeavor, which offers up a world much like our own...except for the fact that the biggest 'quake in recorded history has torn California to shreds and destroyed two major West Coast metropolises.

Dwayne Johnson (you may have heard of him) stars as Ray Gaines, a helicopter rescue pilot with the Los Angeles Fire Department who just so happens to know how to fly or drive every vehicle in the history of the world. His wife Emma (Carla Gugino) and daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) have drifted away after a horrible accident took the life of the fourth member of their family, another daughter named Mallory. Luckily for them, a massive earthquake tears a hole in the earth at the San Andreas Fault and provides an opportunity for Gaines to show off both his muscles and his know-how.

With Johnson's typical cool wit and casual indifference to obstacles, Gaines uses a helicopter, truck, airplane and speedboat to gather his immediate kin and remove them (somehow) from harm. The roadblocks in their way are less contrived and more environmental; instead of a villain, there's a collapsing building or a tsunami dead ahead. This keeps San Andreas slightly more grounded than other "world's ending" action movies that feature a meddling billionaire or stubborn politician; it's not much, but it's something.

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