“San Andreas” was directed by Brad Peyton who also did “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”, “Rampage” & “Incarnate”. The film stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Hugo Johnston-Burt, Art Parkinson, Ioan Gruffudd & Paul Giamatti. This marked the second of 3 times that Johnson & Peyton worked together as “Rampage” would come out 3 years later & “Journey 2” in 2012.
When a seismologist from Cal Tech, Dr. Lawrence Hayes (Giamatti) is test his new model for predicting earthquakes, a 7.1 earthquake collapses and destroys the Hoover Dam. Dr. Hayes soon discovers that the entire San Andreas fault is shifting which will a series of major earthquakes from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Meanwhile in San Francisco, Fire & Rescue pilot, Ray Gaines (Johnson) and his wife Emma (Gugino) have just filed for divorce but comes to her rescue after the first earthquake hits the city. Together, they must find their daughter Blake (Daddario) and Emma’s boyfriend, Daniel (Gruffudd). After Daniel abandons Blake in a parking garage, 2 brothers, Ben (Johnson-Burt) and Ollie Taylor (Parkinson) help her get to higher ground and seek shelter until Ray and Emma find them.
Disaster movies have always followed the exact same premise. An unpredictable natural disaster strikes and our lead character must save a loved one and or survive. “The Day After Tomorrow”, “2012”, “Twister”, “Into The Storm” even monster movies like “Cloverfield” & “Crawl” have very similar storylines and cliches. “San Andreas” is no different other than the earthquake aspect and a great performance from Dwayne Johnson along with solid performance from the rest of the cast. Other film are based on storms, floods, monsters or even volcanos. This movie is based on certain facts, like the West Coast known for unpredictable earthquakes, not at this magnitude but earthquakes nonetheless. Taking something that small to this grand scale rather than an random act of nature is what makes this movie much fun and entertaining than other disaster movies. Like I said before, the movie isn’t perfect and does fall in the typical disaster movie cliches, like having to survive other catastrophes other than earthquakes. Johnson’s performance really holds the film together along with very impressive visuals and CGI.
Overall, this was a big step up from your typical disaster movie and has a solid leading man. Brad Peyton and Johnson weren’t the only frequent collaborators. Johnson also worked with Gugino in 2009’s “Race To Witch Mountain” & 2010’s “Faster” and then worked with Daddario in 2017’s “Baywatch”. Daddario also appears in the film “Rampage” which also stars Johnson and directed by Peyton but only as a deleted scene. “San Andreas” is a fun entertaining disaster film that has everything a great popcorn movie theater experience needs.