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San Andreas Movie Review

San Andreas Movie Rating

Disaster movies usually tend to draw the audience thanks to the tons of drama and oodles of CGI used in film. Be it a 2012 or for that matter Day After Tomorrow, films based on natural disasters have performed decently at the box office. Now coming to SAN ANDREAS that promises to be yet another disaster film, featuring wrestling world's Rock aka Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti, Hugo Johnstone -Burt and Art Parkinson, it offers the viewer loads on destruction and mayhem along with the usual fanfare of characters being saved in the nick of time, not forgetting the stereotypical feel each of them have.

Coming to the story, there isn't much to say. Ray (Dwayne Johnson) a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) with his onetime wife Emma (Carla Gugino) by his side. SAN ANDREAS starts off with Ray making a rescue in the nick of time saving a stranded youth from certain death, cut to, the problems he is facing in his personal life with his wife, who is seeking a divorce from him, telling him that she is moving in with her new lover. Though fazed by this, Ray who is supposed to be on a break is recalled in light of a massive earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. While on job, Ray learns of his wife stranded in a high rise and makes a dangerous effort to save her, only to learn that Blake who is in San Francisco desperately needs assistance.

Technically and scientifically sound, Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) as a CalTech professor lends ample support in this field giving SAN ANDREAS a much needed realistic feel. However, right from the start, SAN ANDREAS is highly predictable (as most disaster films are) with ample amount of focus being thrown on Ray's ability to rescue literally anyone from anything.

Director Brad Peyton does a good job with the VFX and action department, directing both with equal amount of precision while ensuring that despite the destruction heavy film, the base story of a family stands out. In fact post the release of 2012, which was one of the largest disaster films encompassing almost every natural calamity from floods, to landslides to earthquakes and tsunamis occurring across the globe, SAN ANDREAS does well in stepping up the ante.

Coming to the performances in the films, Johnson is his usual, stoic (for the lack of a better word) best; unfortunately he fails to give the much needed facial expressions which would certainly have been an add on. However he does manage to bring in a bit of emotion to the film, when at the half way point he opens about the reason for his divorce and the grief he faces post the death of one of his daughters. A special mention here goes to screenplay writer Carlton Cuse who does a marvelous job of adding a human touch to Johnson's character, instead of painting him as a larger than life hero. Carla Gugino as the ex-wife Emma has a rather stereotypical role, that of a damsel in distress being saved by her knight in shining armour, only to fall back in love with the man she was leaving. However, Alexandra Daddario adds a little flavor to her role that changes what could have well be a boring character into something that is more watchable. Peyton's constant striving to add more depth to each character is something that could have been done away with, since at the end of the film viewers are more interested in watching a family survive all odds, rather than their personal life story.

SAN ANDREAS fully captures the terrifying power of a massive earthquake, but the film literally follows the typical disaster movie formula to a fault. While the ending (read climax) of the film is pretty evident right from the start, what gives the viewer a bank for his buck is the massive scale of destruction that remains unhindered with emotional baggage from the story of the film.

On the whole, if you like widespread destruction, mayhem and tons of CGI that comes with a disaster movie, SAN ANDREAS is worth a watch. However like most disaster films, the numerous loop holes and a rather predictable story line can be a letdown for those interested in something that has depth.

San Andreas 2.5 Bollywood Hungama News Network 20150529