San Andreas Movie Review
As ridiculous and enjoyable as you expected it to be, San Andreas has Dwayne Johnson battling his most ominous foe yet: the entire state of California, shaking uncontrollably for two glorious hours as superb visual effects and truly awful writing collide.
Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, only you can say.
Director Brad Peyton, posing as destruction god Roland Emmerich, delivers exactly what the audience should, hopefully, be expecting: an adventure yarn where character development, plot and dialogue are immaterial and action reigns supreme. He wastes no time diving into the destruction, and with only a few beats of quiet time basically has his characters flying, running and swimming from one dangerous situation to the next.
San Andreas's biggest fault—other than the San Andreas fault itself—is that screenwriter Carlton Cuse let his dog write the movie. The dialogue is so bad that even The Rock, who has managed to charm himself out of countless bad screenplays in the past, practically grimaces every time he has to speak. The story is equally mind-numbing, essentially using the tired blue print for so many other destruction movies.
Of course, if you're a destruction movie fan who just want to see destruction, none of that really matters. Sure, onscreen romantics Alexandra Daddario and Hugo Johnstone-Burt have absolutely no chemistry and the climax is ridiculously absurd, even for a ridiculously absurd movie, but even with a myriad of problems, none of them really matters.
The visual effects are great, and, more importantly, San Andreas is pretty exciting and awe-inspiring—even though it's pretty obvious that all of the main characters are going to make it to the end credits. Peyton unleashes one crazy sequence after another upon the audience, and while some are better than others, they generally accomplish what he was going for.
San Andreas is the crazy, horribly written, CGI-infused disaster film you knew it would be—if that's what you want it to be, then it's well worth the rumble. If not... well, may God have mercy on your soul.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.