‘San Andreas’ is set to open, and the reviews for the catastrophic flick are pouring in. Is it a meteoric smash, or a critical implosion?
In Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson‘s latest action flick, which will officially hit theaters on May 29, a massive earthquake rocks the state of California and causes major disaster. Before it’s too late, Dwayne must travel from one end of the state to the other in order to save his daughter (perhaps rekindling the flame with his estranged wife, played by Carla Gugino, in the process). So, should you spend the summer weekend cooling off in the theater and watching San Andreas? Let the critics help you decide!
‘San Andreas’ Reviews:
The dialogue (the script is by Carlton Cuse) consists mainly of variations on “Hurry up!,” “Get out of the way!,” “Oh my god!” and, “Let’s go get our daughter.” That’s as it should be, of course. Eloquence is the first casualty of disaster, though the seismologist (encouraged by a journalist played by Archie Panjabi) does manage to issue a clear and cogent warning.
San Andreas is just the latest shake, rattle, and roll tentpole to grapple with these anxieties. And as patently preposterous, scientifically dubious, and unapologetically corny as director Brad Peyton’s orgy of CGI devastation is, its popcorn prophecy of the inevitable is a blast of giddy, disposable fun. It’s a ridiculously satisfying slice of summer disaster porn.
In most respects “San Andreas” is a textbook case of a smart/dumb disaster flick. The smart stuff is the quaking of the earth along California’s San Andreas fault—whole swarms of colossal shakers summoned up by digital wizardry. The dumb stuff is the story, strung out in a by-the-numbers script that gives special prominence to numbers on the Richter scale.
Of the many charges that can be levied against Brad Peyton’s San Andreas, false advertising is not one of them. The disaster pic promises nothing more than the complete CGI destruction of California as foregrounded by Dwayne Johnson’s jackfruit-sized biceps, and it delivers exactly that. After providing some blissfully stupid B-movie thrills for its first hour, the film suffers from spectacle overkill (you know what’s cooler than an apocalyptic earthquake? Two apocalyptic earthquakes … and a tsunami) and a fatal lack of invention in its second, more concerned with toppling buildings one by one than ever drumming up a lick of suspense about the fates of those inside them. Still, “San Andreas” boasts an undeniable sort of pre-verbal lizard-brain appeal that should make it a strong earner, especially in territories far removed from the titular fault line.
There you have it– now it’s your turn! Do you plan to check out San Andreas?
— Casey Mink