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Film Review: Terribly Scripted ‘San Andreas’ With Dwayne Johnson a Heartless Special Effects Spectacle

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – When the story is as weak as the film’s fault lines and the character development never develops, the problem with blowing $100 million mostly on special effects is all you’re left with is unintelligent disaster porn.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Aside from the visual spectacle, “San Andreas” fails fantastically to be anything remotely smart. It’s not even a show piece for Dwayne Johnson’s attempt at rebranding himself into a legitimate, dramatic actor. And very little about it is surprising, new or anything most of us couldn’t write in our sleep.

While “San Andreas” is trying to engage our sense of survival, it doesn’t play to an everyday fear that most of us ever experience. At least “Deep Impact,” “Armageddon” and the like had stories that I can actually remember. This one will soon be forgotten.

I actually started to count the amount of cheesy one-liners that caused our entire theatre to collectively roll its eyes, but I lost count. There’s almost no intentional comedy that pays off, and worse, there’s less emotional investment into anyone who’s dying.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “San Andreas”.

The best line of the film is one I’d have to pick from being the “least worst”. It’s when The Rock parachutes with his ex-wife onto AT&T Park’s baseball field and says something to the degree of: “It’s been a while since I’ve gotten you to second base.” I actually laughed, which is sad, because there’s not much else to pick from.

For a film that’s not trying to be a dramedy, the successful drama only draws from the city that’s being destroyed rather than the people who are suffering injury and death because of it. I felt no empathy for all the random people who plummet to their deaths, but worst of all, I barely cared if any of the main characters lived or died, too.

“San Andreas” stars Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti, Carla Gugino, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Ioan Gruffudd, Kylie Minogue, Archie Panjabi and Will Yun Lee from director Brad Peyton and writers Carlton Cuse, Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore. The film, which has a running time of 114 minutes, is rated “PG-13” for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout and brief strong language. It opened on May 29, 2015.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “San Andreas”.

Art Parkinson, Alexandra Daddario and Hugo Johnstone-Burt in San Andreas
Art Parkinson (left) as Ollie, Alexandra Daddario as Blake (middle) and Hugo Johnstone-Burt as Ben in “San Andreas”.
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “San Andreas”.

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