<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Brad Peyton. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti, Archie Panjabi, Will Yun Kee, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Ioan Gruffudd, Kylie Minogue
Running time: 1 hour 54 minutes
A disaster movie I missed when it released but I’m glad I get to catch it on DVD.
All disaster movies have a formula but some are more about the CGI and spectacle. Thankfully, San Andreas doesn’t succumb to this with adequate attention being given to the story and the characters.
Our star Dwayne Johnson – who is clearly the only action hero today reminiscent of the old greats like Arnie and Stallone – is rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines. He gets the job done. Ray is separated from his wife Emma (Carla Gugino) who is going to be moving in with her new wealthy architect boyfriend Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd). Ray still wants to spend time with their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) but some localised earthquakes in the California area are keeping him busy.
Paul Giamatti’s seismologist scientist Lawrence is of course tracking pulses and tremors up the San Andreas Fault, and discovers the hard way that the quakes are going to get bigger. Buildings falls, land masses open up and bridges drown. In the chaos, Blake is left stranded (by Daniel) in a parking lot only to be saved by two Brit boys (Hugo Johnstone-Burt and Art Parkinson). In the beginning Daniel comes across as a good guy but he very quickly degenerates into the spineless wretch willing to throw anyone into harms danger to save his own life.
Two separate threads run through the film: one with Blake and her new friends Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and his little brother Ollie (Art Parkinson) who must try and reach a high point to be rescued by her dad Ray who has rescued her mom from the top of a building. Needless to say they’ll be getting back together since the tough guy who saves the lady and her daughter trumps the rich guy. Yay.
San Andreas has some genuinely scary moments and some interesting twists and turns. The CGI is pretty awesome too. The whole side story with Giamatti and Archie Panjabi as the journalist who needs the big story seems a bit unnecessary at points but I guess it was to lend the film a bit more credibility.
What’s great is that while Dwayne Johnson’s Ray must save Blake and her friends, Blake herself is taking matters into her hands and being resourceful and strong as she steers the boys to safety as well.
The ending is super cliché of course, with millions dead but the family reunited and ready to ‘rebuild’ with the American flag flying in the foreground. Still, it’s a film you can watch again.
1) Deleted Scenes
These scenes are the same as the ones below only without the director commentary so you can hear most of the dialogue.
2) Deleted Scenes with director Brad Peyton’s commentary
So there are about five or six deleted scenes, most of which are not needed in the film, that you can watch with the director’s commentary explaining why they didn’t make it to the final edit. His reasoning was that the film needed to move at a clip and the pace had to be right so some of these scenes, though they do create tension or bring a light moment, had to be omitted. I tend to agree with him.
DVD Courtesy Sony DADC