Movie Review: San Andreas


Like all disaster flicks, this one kicks off with a whopper. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake hits the city of Los Angeles, causing scientist Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti) to launch an investigation into the renowned case of the San Andreas Fault. He predicts that the earthquake is fast heading for the city of San Francisco, where its effects will be deadlier than ever. Hop on as San Andreas takes you on quite the heart-pounding journey.


After sending a helicopter into flames in his recent role on Fast & Furious 7, Dwayne Johnson spends most of his time in one in this movie. He plays Ray Gaines, a rescue mission helicopter pilot for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and makes use of this valuable asset to evade every devastating effect of the earthquake. At the same time, he desperately attempts to rescue his daughter, Blake Gaines (Alexandra Daddario), from the jaws of death.

It’s not easy for Ray however, as he tries to deal with the guilt of causing his second daughter Mallory’s recent death, as well as an on-going divorce with his wife Emma (Carla Gugino). SPOILER ALERT: The couple develop a Batman and Robin-esque rapport as the movie progresses.


Ray reaches San Francisco just as three consecutive earthquakes hit the city, each increasing in magnitude and culminating in an all-time high of 9.6, making it all the more difficult for Ray to reach his daughter Blake. To add to his troubles, he also has to battle an unforgiving tsunami that has left most of the city submerged underwater.

While San Andreas offer you thrills and spills throughout, it has a rather familiar disaster-movie feel to it, just like Roland Emmerich’s 2012. Director Brad Peyton fails to inject any fresh angles to it bar the fact that the main character has to deal with personal problems whilst playing hero, but even that’s clutching at straws. We should point out that Brad has also previously worked with Dwayne Johnson in another search-and-rescue mission movie in the form of Journey 2… Well, at least this one turned out better.

What’s pleasing to see though is how the supporting characters in this movie are depicted as knowledgeable and valuable rather than dumped with uninteresting one-liners. For example, Blake Gaines pops up with many creative solutions to keep brothers Ben and Ollie (Hugo Johnstone-Burt and Art Parkinson) alive. How many of us actually know how to make phone calls by gaining connection to landline ports without mobile networks?


The plot was pretty straightforward and albeit, rather predictable. However, we still cannot fathom how scientist Lawrence Hayes’ office building never collapsed despite falling prey to the tremors of the earthquake several times, while literally every other building in the area has been reduced to rubble.


Overall, San Andreas is an enjoyable watch, especially with the charisma of WWE superstar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson assuming the leading role with his fearless, never-say-die attitude. We recommend this to someone who wants non-stop, fast paced entertainment with staggering graphics and special effects. But if you are after something fresh and new, you may want to look elsewhere.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

What did you think of San Andreas? Let us know in the comments section down below!


Cast: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Archie Panjabi and Iaon Gruffud.

Director: Brad Peyton

Genre: Action, Adventure,

Rating: PG-13

Run-time: 114 minutes

Release date: 29 May 2015