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San Andreas

San Andreas

USA 2015 - with Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino, Paul Giamatti, Ioan Gruffud ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:San Andreas
Direction:Brad Peyton
Cinema release:28.05.2015
Production country:USA 2015
Running time:Approx. 114 min.
Rated:Age 12+

As a rescue pilot, helicopter pilot Ray (Dwayne Johnson) has saved many a life. But he couldn't save his own marriage to Emma (Carla Gugino) from falling apart. But the impending divorce becomes the least of the couple's problems when the San Andreas Fault shifts and a destructive magnitude 9 earthquake hits California. For the quake was only the harbinger of another monster quake that will hit San Francisco especially hard. And of all places, that's where their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) is, trying to make her way to safety with brothers Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and Ollie (Art Parkinson). Her parents make their way from Los Angeles to San Francisco to rescue Blake. But will they arrive in time before the great monster quake destroys the city for good?

San Andreas is the second collaboration between Dwayne Johnson and director Brad Peyton, following The Voyage to Mysterious Island. With a slightly bigger budget, Peyton, who hasn't exactly covered himself in glory with films like Cats & Dogs - The Revenge of Kitty Kahlohr, tries his hand at a material that Roland Emmerich probably would have licked his fingers at a few years ago (if he hadn't already directed a very similar disaster movie with 2012). Some of the effects are really neat, and those who like the genre will get their money's worth in some scenes.

But as soon as the focus shifts from the orgy of destruction to the interpersonal, it's revealed once again that Peyton just isn't a good filmmaker. The dialogue is runaway bad and the dramatization is not only one big cliché, it's completely unnecessary. The best example of this is a scene where Ray and Emma, after quite a bit of trouble, are about to take a small plane the rest of the way to San Francisco. Time is of the essence and their daughter's life is in real danger. But instead of taking off right away, the two first deal with their marital problems in an unbearably long conversation. Whoever got the grand idea that the target audience would want to see a crying Dwayne Johnson at this moment really has no idea about filmmaking.

Also, the subplot involving seismologist Lawrence (Paul Giamatti), who is really just there to explain earthquakes for dummies to the audience, is more than unnecessary in itself. Peyton desperately tries to distract with tremendous special effects and the beguiling cleavage of Alexandra Daddario, which at least with guys he might succeed at times. But in the end, even the really well-staged action and the attractive actors can't hide the fact that San Andreas is a completely uninspired orgy of destruction that doesn't really leave a good impression with its finale soaked in pathos and patriotism.

Even then, if you accept all the scenes that move far from logic and try to just get swept up in the action, the dramatic scenes with their family-is-the-highest-good-woodhammer message are so intrusive and often unintentionally funny that it's just annoying. San Andreas could have been a truly rousing adventure if the script had had a little more courage to be original and self-deprecating, and if the production didn't come across as quite so thick. So there is always something for the eyes, but that doesn't help much when the ears are poisoned with such bad dialogues. Although I personally am usually for such films quite to have and had great fun despite all the weaknesses of the very similar 2012, there is only one for this 3D noise: as brainless popcorn cinema only with cutbacks worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "San Andreas (USA 2015)"
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