San Andreas movie review


“I guess this is as good a time as any to talk about our failed marriage.”

I was on a flight from Newark to Denver and I said to myself, San Andreas is exactly the sort of movie you watch on a plane; dial your expectations down and watch The Rock be charismatic.”  I was right, but more than that, this is actually a pretty tight action movie. 

The directing, acting, photography and yes, the writing, all deserve a big round of applause on this one.  These disaster movies come out all the time, and they’re usually crap, but I’ll be damned if San Andreas didn’t get it right.

If you’re thinking of creating something like this, take note:  this is how you do world building.  You start out with some decent character development, establish relationships and then once you’ve kick started the plot, let the action set pieces carry you home.

Dwayne Johnson is the perfect guy for this flick.  He absolutely crushes it.  Carla Gugino plays off him beautifully while carrying her own scenes easily.  Alexandra Daddario, Hugo Johnstone-Burt and Art Parkinson make a great team, as do Archie Panjabi and Paul Giamatti.  Man, Giamatti helps sooooooo much.  There are a lot of good actors in this flick, but Giamatti brings the gravitas and the know how to deliver expositional dialogue, but  he’s so good (and the writing helps, too) that instead of a necessary means to an end, it’s a big moment in the movie.  Meanwhile,  Ioan Gruffudd and Kylie Minogue play typical antagonists who get punished because of the way they treat the protagonists… that’s just how these kind of movies go.  Mr. Fantastic (Gruffudd) is not so fantastic!

This second trailer conveys the seriousness by which the movie delivers its subject matter.

I cannot praise the script enough.  They could have phoned it in, but instead, we get a lot of genuine human emotion and almost no silly jokes.  Screenwriter Carlton Cuse did a really nice job, as did cinematographer Steve Yedlin, editor Bob Ducsay and director Brad Peyton, who did a good job of making the whole thing come together.  It’s just such a smooth flick; I’m not a huge fan of the arc surrounding The Rock and his daughter and the borderline melodrama it produces, but it’s a means to an end, and I’ve seen worse.

These disaster movies are always terrible; San Andreas may be formulaic, sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  And while it is yet another movie with a silly cover of an old song in the trailer, I still recommend it for action fans, but it might be a little too much for general audiences.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on November 3, 2015, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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