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San Andreas Movie Review

Reviewed by on May 29, 2014
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Dwayne, “The Rock” Johnson saves his family in two cities as quakes rock California in the action thriller San Andreas. Check out Kidzworlds review.

By: Lynn Barker

Dwayne Johnson plays a heroic helicopter rescue pilot but he couldn’t save one of his daughters in the past. There is one left. Can he rescue her after a ginormous quake?

Ray watches L.A. fall.Ray watches L.A. fall.Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Story goes

Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) is a skillful helicopter pilot handling risky rescues for the Los Angeles Fire Department. One rescue he couldn’t pull off in the past led to a break up with his wife Emma (Carla Gugino) who is about to move in with rich guy architect boyfriend Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd). Only daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario of the Percy Jackson movies) is headed for San Francisco with Emma and Daniel while Ray is called in when a huge quake hits Nevada destroying the big Hoover Dam.

Ray and Emma in San Francisco harbourRay and Emma in San Francisco harbourCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Meanwhile, Cal Tech earthquake expert Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) is trying to develop an earthquake prediction system and it works…. a little too late. He predicts that a big one will hit L.A. and it does. It takes Ray, who was in the air in his chopper, to rescue ex-wife Emma from the roof of a collapsing L.A. high-rise. The ex-couple heads for San Francisco to find their daughter Blake when the huge statewide quake along the San Andreas Fault, hits there.

Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and a reporter duck for oover.Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and a reporter duck for coverCourtesy of Warner Bros.

In San Fran, Blake has met cute guy Ben (Huge Johnstone-Burt) and his sweet little bro (Art Parkinson) and she gets off a call to dad on a land line. Can the group meet up in San Francisco before more quakes destroy everything?  Can the family be reunited?

Blake (Alexandra), Ben (Hugo) and his bro hope for rescueBlake (Alexandra), Ben (Hugo) and his bro hope for rescueCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Wrapping Up

Although lots of disaster film clichés abound in the film, some of the lines are corny and some coincidences hard to believe, San Andreas holds its own due to the solid performances of the lead actors. You really root for them as they deal with personal turmoil amid the natural chaos. Paul Giamatti is great as the Cal Tech scientist who wants so badly to save people with early warning. Dwayne Johnson is really good as the dad who faced a family tragedy that broke up his marriage and now has another one in front of him.

Can Ray save Blake?Can Ray save Blake?Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Really nice is the fact that the women in the film (Alexandra and Carla) are both strong and resourceful thinkers who really get the save-the-day job done right along with Dwayne!  The visual effects are on a huge scale so far not seen in earthquake movies, even expanding on the film 2012 which pretty much destroyed most of the land on Earth.  Action rescues are both clever and very visual and, despite pauses for character bonding, the movie moves right along with one big, crazy disaster after another. This reviewer lived in both L.A. and San Francisco and made it through the Northridge quake in the 90’s and I’d say the effects looked over-the-top but pretty real to me!

Ray (Dwayne) and Emma (Carla) eye a boat for escapeRay (Dwayne) and Emma (Carla) eye a boat for escapeCourtesy of Warner Bros.

For summer popcorn movie fun that mixes in a little family drama and some heroism from characters of both genders, we go 4 stars.

San Andreas Movie Rating: 4

San Andreas PosterSan Andreas PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros.

San Andreas is in theaters now!