By Carter B. Horsley
"San Andreas" is a truly spectacular disaster film with extraordinary special effects in which both Los Angeles and San Francisco are largely destroyed by earthquakes related to the famous fault of the title.
remarkable technical achievements are significantly enhanced by the
impressive acting chops of its hero, Ray Gaines, played by Dwayne
Johnson, the former wrestling star known as "The Rock," who is the heir
to Arnold Schwarzenegger's cinematic heroics, who manages to rescue his
former wife, Emma, played with considerable gusto by attractive Carla
Gugino, and a bit later, his very beautiful daughter, Blake, vividly
played by Alexandra Daddario. Johnson plays a Los Angeles Fire
Department helicopter pilot and early in the film we watch him rescue a
girl from a car that had fallen into a deep chasm created by an
scene show seismologist Lawrence Hayes, played by Paul Giamatti,
studying earthquake tremors near Hoover Dam. He goes there and
the dam collapses in a gushing flurry of detail. He returns to
his office where a TV reporter wants to interview him but they are soon
interrupted by one of his aides with new data that he interprets as
meaning that the 810-mile-long San Andreas fault may be
threatened. He's asked who should be alerted. "Everyone,"
he replies with much gravitas.
Johnson visits his former wife to drop off a bicycle for their daughter
and meets his wife's fiance, the developer of a major new high-rise
tower in Los Angeles. While his wife is having lunch atop the new
tower, an earthquake hits and his wife scrambles atop rooftops as
towers topple around her, their billowing dust clouds nearly swallowing
up Johnson's helicopter as he arrives having been beckoned by his wife
on her cell phone.
In one of the "extras" included on the Blu-Ray disk, we can see how is wife is dropped by wires on mats while trying get away from the flying debris individually manipulated and rocked by dozens of assistants in the restaurant and we also see how close-ups of the helicopter rescue are made with a large, mechanical "heli'" horse that shakes, rattles, rolls and veers very dramatically.
rescue scene is awesome as we watch the helicopter being engulfed by
clouds of debris and narrowly dodging collapsing buildings, all in
"glorious" and terrifying detail.
In this and many of the following scenes, the detail is incredible, to put it mildly.
and Emma try to contact their daughter, who has managed to escape from
Emma's fiance's skyscraper with a man and his younger brother as a
major earthquake pulverizes San Francisco.
The roads are not good but Ray manages to trade a car for a small plane and they proceed north only to discover there is no safe place to land.
Ray finds one parachute and he and Emma jump out of the plane tethered
to one another and land safely and then proceed to find a motor boat
only to confront a tsunami. They have to hurry to mount the crest
of the tidal wave and narrowly miss being chewed up by the twin
propellors of a huge container ship and then avoid being submerged by
some containers that fall off the ship.
The huge ship rises up and slams into the fabulous Golden Gate Bridge, which is also being swaped by the tidal wave.
We see the wave crash through the streets of San Francisco, toppling many towers.
devastation is breath-taking and as Ray and Emma approach the tumbled
city they understandably fear that finding their daughter may not be
In his October 8, 2015 review at Blu-ray.com, Martin Liebman provides the excellent following commentary:
Click here to order the film from amazon.com
Home Page of The City Review