A Damn Good Mindless Popcorn Flick
Ok guys. Turn your brains off. We're gonna talk about San Andreas. This will be a bit of a quicker review because I'm a little busy right now, but here's the deal. San Andreas is a mindless disaster film. It follows in the footsteps of who I believe is the master of mindless disaster movie popcorn "fun," Roland Emmerich, and it never thinks its an important film. It's not meant to be taken seriously. The characters are less than paper thin, there's one nick-of-time escape after another, and the only time the movie makes you feel anything is when it goes out of its way to kill a lot of extras. So, that's my first point: if you don't like watching people die, even if they're fictional characters, stay FAR away from this film. You've probably already written it off. Don't change that. For the rest of you, however, stick around. Because you should see San Andreas.
You heard me right. Gather your friends, get a few beers, and go see this film on the largest screen possible, because it is a fun ride from one set piece to another throughout the 114 minute popcorn flick. You know, real critics actually classify popcorn flick as a genre. If I had to sum up this genre, I would probably use this film, because it is the QUINTESSENTIAL popcorn film. The film has a ridiculous pace, and it shoots its giant disaster set pieces, aka the complete destruction of three major locations in the Hoover Dam, LA, and San Fran, EXACTLY how you should shoot your big budget set piece. The film looks great, with the special effects department doing their job with flying colors, and the wall of water looks great too. I wouldn't bring that up were it not for 2014's Exodus: Gods and Kings complete inability to create a somewhat realistic wall of water. Regardless of whether it's an action set piece or a disaster set piece, this is how you do it. THIS is how you do it. From sweeping wide shoots where you can actually see everything happening, to very little shaky cam, (amazing I know, because a film about earthquakes is about the only time this element could actually be even remotely acceptable) to even a BEAUTIFUL Spielberg Oner, (a one shot that doesn't draw attention to the fact that it's a single take) in the middle of the earthquake mind you....man this is how you do it! Seriously, I praise director Brad Peyton and company for having the guts to put that Spielberg Oner in their film, and in the middle of one of the giant earthquakes. And it works! It works spectacularly and was easily my favorite moment of the film. The take was about 2 minutes long, and there was so much happening in that take it was ridiculous. Good job, guys!
Got a little off track there. But there really isn't much else to say about this film. The acting is fine. Dwayne Johnson is as charismatic and badass as ever, and our female leads Carla Gugino and Alexandra Daddario are good too. And I'm really glad that the film did not make these two characters damsels-in-distress. Well, sure, I guess Alexandra Daddario was in distress, but there were two other male characters with her that she was helping keep alive. And who basically admit at the end of the film and at a few moments throughout that they would be dead were it not for her. I love female power characters, and I'm glad this film went this way rather than the stereotypical damsel-in-distress route. Paul Giamatti was also great. As usual. His scientific exposition was very welcome throughout the film, and gave it at least a little bit of scientific realism. Not much, but some is always better than none.
So that's it. If you're looking for a big budget summer blockbuster, this is exactly it. It's mindless fun, but enjoyable mindless fun. Long as you don't mind seeing fictional characters die. I guess that makes me cynical for that not bothering me too much? I mean no one actually died making this film. Oh well. I'll just blame video games. Cause that's exactly what our society wants to hear nowadays.....
The Critique: A damn good mindless popcorn flick.
The Recommendation: A damn good mindless popcorn flick.
Rewatchability: A damn good mindless popcorn flick.
The Verdict: 7.5/10 A damn good mindless popcorn flick.