Tuesday, July 21, 2015

San Andreas (USA, 2015)

Nine Things About the Movie San Andreas

1. This could have been a fun little piece of disaster porn. Too bad it sucks.

2. The movie basically starts with an earthquake scientist team that thinks they can predict earthquakes by using big vocabulary words (this was made up). When they see signals that an earthquake may hit the Hoover Dam, they don't warn anybody. They just go stand on the Hoover Dam and watch it get destroyed.

3. Super fireman/rescue guy Ray (played by Dwayne Johnson) hears about the destruction of the Hoover Dam and is called in to work, but takes the day off to see his daughter before heading to the disaster site.

4. When the San Andreas fault shifts and the earthquake hits Los Angeles, Ray gives most people the actual, real advice to drop to the ground, cover yourself with a table or up against a wall, and hold on. But he tells his ex-wife to run to the top of a skyscraper and wait for him on the roof so he can abandon his job and pick her up in his helicopter. Then Ray talks to his daughter in San Francisco. When she says she's fine, Ray doesn't tell her to evacuate the city with the rest of the people. He tells her to run back into the earthquake zone, climb a tall building, and wait for him on the roof so he can abandon his job again, fly to San Francisco from Los Angeles, and pick her up in his helicopter.

5. The star, Dwayne Johnson, publicly said that earthquake experts consulted on the film and determined the movie was realistic. This was a lie. Earthquake experts did examine the script but said most of it was crap. The filmmakers ignored the experts and did what they wanted.

6. Earthquakes cannot be predicted. The San Andreas fault isn't the right size to make an earthquake that big. The San Andreas fault cannot make tsunamis. Many buildings in California are built to handle an earthquake, at least long enough to let people escape - they don't collapse like a house of cards. I could go on, but you get the idea.

7. One of the biggest disappointments for me was that the movie was pretty boring. The disaster scenes were fun, but they were only about half the movie. The other half of the movie consisted of Ray and his ex-wife opening up about their feelings, and their daughter falling in love with a random British dude.

8. The screenplay was amateur, the characters were one-dimensional, and the acting was terrible. I cared more about what happened to the buildings than what happened to the people.

9. I went in to this movie with low expectations; I just wanted to see some fun destruction and a halfway coherent story. It turns out that this movie really is a disaster, but not in the way I was hoping.