These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.
“It’s 2012, but with The Rock!” That was my first thought. It’s a disaster flick that could have been made by Roland Emmerich, I didn’t exactly have the highest of expectations. I didn’t have a problem with Dwayne Johnson, I think he’s a decent enough actor, but I doubted that this film would showcase his true abilities. I didn’t expect it would. It’d just be destruction porn. It was either choosing this or ALOHA, and I was hearing even worse things about ALOHA than SAN ANDREAS. I opted for the best of the worst.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson (BAYWATCH , G.I. JOE: RETALIATION , and upcoming films JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE  and RAMPAGE ), Carla Gugino (THE SPACE BETWEEN US , and the upcoming SAN ANDREAS 2, no release date announced), Alexandra Daddario (BAYWATCH, and the upcoming SAN ANDREAS 2), Hugo Johnston (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of), and Art Parkinson (KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS )
Support: Paul Giamatti (MORGAN , and the upcoming SAN ANDREAS 2), Kylie Minogue (MOULIN ROUGE!  and STREET FIGHTER ), Ioan Gruffudd (JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR  and TITANIC ), Colton Haynes (ROUGH NIGHT  and ARROW [2012 – ongoing]), and Will Yun Lee (SPY )
Directing: Brad Peyton (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of, and upcoming films RAMPAGE and JOURNEY 3: FROM EARTH TO THE MOON, no release date announced). Writing: Carlton Cuse (LOST [2004 – 2010]). Composer: Andrew Lockington (THE SPACE BETWEEN US, and the upcoming RAMPAGE). Cinematographer: Steve Yedlin (DANNY COLLINS , and the upcoming STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI ).
Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) is a seismologist and, like the lot of them, wants to predict earthquake occurrences and make the world a safer place. He and his trusted assistant Dr. Kim (Will Yun Lee) might just have unlocked that secret. They decide to test out their theory on a fault near Hoover Dam that’s been ruptured. Unfortunately, a powerful earthquake begins and Dr. Kim is tragically killed, leaving Lawrence to go back home to do what he can to warn the world that the quakes are not over. Meanwhile, Ray (Dwayne Johnson) is a rescue-helicopter pilot and has an impressive rescue history. Unfortunately, he’s also in the middle of a divorce with his wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), who is about to move in with her new rich and successful boyfriend Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd). This is news that he doesn’t take very well as he still holds a torch for his wife. Even their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) seems to not quite know how to feel about the situation. But they all go their separate ways. Ray goes to the Hoover Dam to save people, Emma goes to see Daniel’s sister Susan (Kylie Minogue), and Daniel and Blake visit Daniel’s job for a quick… something, and Blake relaxes in a waiting area where she meets two lovable British brothers, the older Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) who is seeking employment under Daniel, and the younger Ollie (Art Parkinson). This is about the time another quake hits and Ray turns his chopper around to go save Emma, who’s nearby.
If it wasn’t already apparent from the trailers, this movie wasn’t exactly supposed to be a good film. It was, as I predicted, 2012, but with The Rock. Now while the movie isn’t going to challenge audiences or really showcase Johnson’s or Gugino’s acting chops, it doesn’t do them a disservice to their résumés either. I find it difficult to believe that Gugino can be bad in anything and as long as Johnson is given a decent script, he CAN act. I think I’m just going to get “the guy” shit out of me and say ALEXANDRA DADDARIO IS SO HOT!!! *ehem* Incredibly gorgeous aesthetics aside, she actually pulls a surprisingly great performance. Blake is an intelligent and resourceful young woman who knows exactly what to do in many of the given situations that she’s forced into. This isn’t even “fun-fact” knowledge either. It makes sense that she has a father who works for the fire department and would impart necessary information in his daughter’s mind. Blake isn’t annoying, she isn’t a know-it-all, she’s a surprisingly well-written character. Most of you have probably heard other reviews raving about Giamatti’s performance, that he’s the best on set. While I may argue with that bit of detail, his performance’s high praise is well-founded. He is indeed the reason why you would see this movie. His sense of urgency, constantly making the right decisions to help as many people as he can by getting the word out, he can be a true voice of seismologists out there, even though the science in the movie is 90% bullshit.
As per usual, I do have a gripe. Why exactly does there need to be a romantic sub-plot between Blake and Ben? This movie’s credibility as an emotionally driven story would be amplified by a factor of 10 if the struggle of the survivors and the trauma of those lost in these real-world events were to be the primary focus instead of a British dude succumbing to the power of his boner at the sight of Blake’s piercing (blue?) eyes and big rack. Granted, the man falls for her BECAUSE she’s so smart and resourceful, but… can’t you keep it in your pants and fantasize about your future date and worry more about getting your younger brother to safety RIGHT NOW? Also, as previously mentioned, the science is basically fiction. Though this isn’t a surprise, there’s some character choices on how to… “confront” the devastation wrought by the quakes that makes me go… “why?” Look, INTERSTELLAR may have had bullshit science too, but they at least took the time to explain SOME of the science in a way to understand it easily. This movie sort of does that, but it’s incredibly forgetful. Maybe pieces of paper and pencils being poked into them weren’t used. Either way, I know the theory behind wormhole travel, but I still have no idea what the hell a fault line is, or tectonic plates are, or how exactly they relate to earthquakes. Of course, we could easily and rightfully chalk that up to simple lack of education on my part.
While the movie succeeds in being amazing to look at and performances range from nothing spectacular to surprisingly good, I feel like movies like this dealing with real world events can really be an opportunity to educate the audiences who may not be armed with knowledge on how exactly quakes work and what to do should one happen. All I gathered from this was Giamatti was a great actor, Johnson has big muscles, Daddario is unbearably beautiful, and destruction is fun to watch… which might be the wrong message to convey. In any case, as a movie by itself, it isn’t bad. In certain aspects, it’s pretty good. But it isn’t challenging and it’s obvious it could have been far more than what it is.
My honest rating for SAN ANDREAS: a strong 3/5