Film review: San Andreas

For the past few years, I’ve had an Unlimited card from Cineworld. When I got it, I thought it was great value, and that I would be going to the cinema several times a week. Fast-forward to now, and there are months where the closest I go to a cinema is… Never, really.

Quite recently, I told myself I was going to put the card to good use, or stop the membership. Now that Trocadero isn’t there anymore (the cinema, anyway), I don’t see much point to paying the premium for Central London cinemas, so the jury is still out on that. However, I’m on a good track for movies already. As of 1st June, I’ve already been to one.

Normally, I watch the films months after they’ve been released, mainly because I forget about them, so if I write about a film, I can be sure a bunch of you have already watched it. Today, however, I’m writing about a new film (look at me, being all up-to-date and all that!). So, you know the drill…

Be warned! Spoilers ahead. Keep reading at your own risk.

Once that’s out of the way… San Andreas. Wow. (Incidentally, that was pretty much my Facebook status after I watched it, minus the italics).

We begin the film with this young girl driving a car. I hate her on sight, but since I don’t know much about the film, other than The Rock is in it, I decide not to judge too much. She’s driving, and she’s fishing out a bottle of water from her bag, taking her eyes out off the road for, like, ever. And a car is coming the other way. Of course, there’s going to be an accident. Only there’s not. I’m really not liking her much. She’s everything I hate about drivers, and to prove my point, she gets a text from a friend, which of course she decides to read, just as another car comes her way. Surely they’re going to crash, aren’t they? Of course not. Come on, that easy? Not a chance. She’s lucky, or is she? As soon as that passes, rocks start falling off the mountain, hitting her car. Blah, blah, she falls off the cliff. I think it was the universe, punishing her for not paying attention when driving, but well… At least, she was wearing her seatbelt. She falls, hits the cliff, falls more, tumbles down here and there. I think her airbag went off at some point. Somehow, the seatbelt breaks or something and she ends up hitting her head on the wheel and then hitting one of the windows. And she’s fine. Stunned, but otherwise alright. Right…

It turns out the car is hanging from some rocks and she’s in what we would call a pickle.

Cue The Rock. We don’t see him at first, but we’re in a helicopter with a reporter and the LA Fire Department Rescue Team (or something like that), tough guys saving lives. There are two guys talking to the reporter, one is some random, and the other one is Roy from Arrow (Colton Haynes, ladies).

More stuff happens that you think WTF but ta-da, they rescue the girl.

Dwayne Johnson is getting divorced, it seems. His daughter is leaving for college and his wife is moving in with her new boyfriend, Mr. Fantastic. So, that’s the usual hero storyline, isn’t it? A man married to his job, and the wife has had enough, sort of thing, so she’s moving on. Only there seems to be something else going on, because they appear to be friends. Hum…

On the side, we have the scientists at Caltech who have come up with a way to predict earthquakes. They go to the Hoover Dam to test it, and oh boy, things turn for the worse. There’s a really big earthquake while they’re there, and the less important scientist (less important because he dies in the first few minutes of the film, that is), manages to save a girl in a rather impressive but slightly foreseeable way, and dies. He dies quite heroically, to be honest (you have to see it).

The other scientist goes back to Caltech and later on they say he tried to warn people of another big earthquake, but I don’t remember that part (surely that didn’t happen just when I popped out the room momentarily to go to the toilet, right? I was gone for like one minute! Side note, I hate missing bits of films, but sometimes there’s no avoiding it).

Dwayne, who I want to call Craig, but I’m not sure if that’s the character’s name, is called to Nevada to help with the rescue operations, and so he can’t drive his daughter to college. Mr. Fantastic, being so great and boyfriend-y offers to fly her instead. Yup, he has his own plane. Take that, Craig.

Here, a couple of things are going on.

  • Wife is having lunch with Kylie Minogue, whose only role in the film is to be an absolute B to her. We’re warned earlier on that she’s very protective of her brother (Mr. Fantastic). Asking bluntly about the other daughter that drowned isn’t protective, is just rude (ah, so that’s why the marriage didn’t work then) and I want to believe nobody would really do that sort of thing.
  • I can’t remember where Craig was, but I think he was taking his helicopter somewhere or something.
  • Mr. Fantastic and white-walker-eyes (living Daughter) get to San Francisco, where he’s building a massive skyscraper. He takes her to his office where she’s left to wait in the lobby. There, she meets Ben, who is clumsy, and his brother, hum… Ollie? who is the typical quirky boy who is very friendly and says embarrassing things (to his brother, like asking the pretty girl for her number, so Ben won’t regret not doing it himself).

Everybody is doing their thing and boom. Another earthquake hits the fan. The scientist is giving an interview to the reporter from the beginning, and his team realises that the San Andreas Fault is moving, and that Los Angeles is going to suffer, but San Francisco is going to get hit big time. Sure enough, bad stuff starts to happen.

  • Wife and evil sister are affected by the earthquake, and all is chaos and screams. Karma gets its revenge on the evil sister and she dies during the earthquake (while Wife, who has already figured everything out by calling Craig, tells her to get to the roof, she decides to go through a door and half a second later, everything on that other side of the door disappears and falls to the ground). Wife tries to get people to the roof, but nobody listens because, who’s going to want to go to the top of a building that is about to collapse or something, right?
  • Craig (his name is Ray, but I’m going to keep calling him Craig, because it feels like he should have been called Craig) decides that he doesn’t know the random people suffering in Nevada, and that after all, he has the helicopter to himself, so even though they probably have protocols, and his teammates are giving their lives for strangers, he decides to go save his wife instead. I don’t know how it works in real life, but it just felt wrong. I guess you could say he decided to quit his job right then.
  • The earthquake hits San Francisco just as living Daughter and Mr. Fantastic are leaving the building in a limo. They fall through a hole on the ground (that’s pretty cool) and she ends up with her legs trapped because a big piece of concrete falls on the driver’s seat. Yes, the driver was still sitting at the wheel. Mr. Fantastic says he’s going to find help, leaving her alone (not so fantastic anymore, huh?) and when he gets out, there’s another shock and he panics and leaves.
  • Ben, who has known living Daughter for about 5 seconds but you know, boobs, sees Mr. Fantastic leaving and decides to go and find her, and rescue her. I’m betting here he does this because he’s British and therefore, a gentleman, but I’m still not that sure about it. I mean, he goes in with his little brother, endangering him for a pretty stranger. I’m beginning to think this film isn’t real stuff.

The film gets a bit creative with the situations and how they get out of them. For example, Craig does rescue Wife from the top of the building, just as it’s collapsing and as a big cloud of dust engulfs her and the rescue-basket. he needs to take the helicopter up and pulls the rope (with his own hands, mind you, no pulleys or anything), only to find the basket hanging askew – let’s assume for a second here that part of the attachments broke, because it went down perfectly horizontal, or maybe… Sure enough, we hear her voice, calling. Craig looks, and there she is, hanging from the basket. She grabbed it in the last second. Now, question: didn’t Craig notice the basket was noticeably heavier than it should have been? Is she that light? We’ll never know. I mean, The Rock is strong, but he would surely notice about 65kgs worth of w\wife hanging from the basket, no? OK then.

Somehow, Daughter knows a lot about a lot of things. She knows about how to find a phone that will work when there’s a power cut so she can call her dad (Mum is with you? Yay, you’re getting back together! No?), she knows about the rescue services having their own radio channel (OK, I knew that too, but still). Even if her dad told her all that stuff… I don’t know, she seems to be one of those cool teenagers who actually listen to her parents and is good and all that (not like the driver from the beginning). She tells her parents Mr. Fantastic left her, and the mum isn’t so happy about it. She leaves a pretty badass message on his voicemail straight afterwards.

Craig and Wife have a bit of an accident and crash-land at a shopping centre (sorry, mall) where people are looting. They steal a stolen car thieves are using to steal TVs. Of course, Craig knows how to jumpstart a car. They need to go find their daughter.

Meanwhile, Daughter keeps saving the British boy’s asses over and over again, pretty much. There’s another earthquake, while everyone finally listens to the scientist (anyone wants extra credits from hacking into the media?) who broadcasts a big warning about everyone leaving SanFran, or else. He finishes by asking God to bless everyone, and somehow the city starts being evacuated in a rather calmly way. People are going to die, but they don’t seem in too much of a rush.

Craig and Wife realise they’re never going to get to SanFran in time to save Daughter, and they meet this lovely couple who happen to have a plane and are happy to exchange it for the stolen car (it’s a pick-up, I would have traded too) because their son lives in the mountain and there’s nowhere to land the plane. Guess what? Craig also knows how to operate the plane. While they refuel, they open up about their marriage, and we learnt that the daughter drowned in a rafting trip Craig had taken her, and he feels guilty because he couldn’t save her. He saw her drowning (I still remember her face when she realised I wasn’t going to save her. Ouch, right in the feels. OK, so this film has action, and some tears… right).

They fly out, and again, they’re not going to make it because there’s nowhere to land. Don’t fret, Craig is very clever, and so he realises they’re in a plane design to jump from it with parachutes, so he decides they’re going to jump and land in a baseball stadium (It’s been a while since I took you to second base. Ha! The Rock, you’re smooth as hell, even if your daughter might be dying right as you’re trying to get it on with your soon-to-be ex-wife).

I’m trying to remember what happens with the daughter and the British boys in the meantime, but can’t. A lot of action-y things. There’s so much happening all the time that I couldn’t keep track of everything. British gentleman gets attacked by some windows and gets a massive (OK, not that big) piece of glass on his thigh. Little British boy is freaking out a lot. Daughter takes her top off (she’s wearing a vest underneath, sorry boys) and bandages it. I keep thinking about my first day of my First Aid course, which I had a few hours earlier, and thinking about the procedures and all that… Later on, she decides to have a look at it (the wound! You people…), tells him it’s going to hurt, and then proceeds to remove the glass from his leg. I’ve seen enough movies to know that blood is going to start coming out from the wound like a fountain, and he’s probably going to die. Only it doesn’t. Isn’t the femoral artery somewhere there? Hum… OK…

Craig and Wife are stuck again, and they decide to get a boat. Meanwhile, the alarm has been sounded everywhere in the city. Is it an air raid? Well, no, it’s a tsunami. Craig, because he’s super clever, although he hasn’t heard the alarm, he sees the water level receding a lot and realises that’s going to be a hell of a wave so he knows the only way is… to ride it out! He’s Hawaiian, after all… Dwayne, that is. He steps on it, going straight for the wave. They need to get over the top before it starts to break (definitely Hawaiian, come on). While trying, a boat next to them sort of flies off the surface of the water. Just to show how vertical it is, we see a fire extinguisher fall down, and I keep thinking about the film Titanic. Cool, they’re about to make it, finally they’re getting a break. The edge of the wave is just there! Wait, what’s that? What’s that massive square-y, dark thing appearing at the top? Er, it’s a cargo boat, one of those carrying the big metal containers you see in every scene in a port. And they’re riding straight into it.

At this point, my mouth sort of opened in a no way sort of way, and I just stood there (metaphorically, of course) for the rest of this scene, hand on my mouth, not really believing the script. Craig swerves, and now they’re heading straight to the helices, they manage to avoid them (but the top of the boat is gone now), and are next to the cargo boat, only the containers are starting to fall off the sides too. Come on, seriously, give them a bloody break.

Somehow, they survive, but the cargo boat is now vertical, at the tsunami’s mercy, and it ends up hitting a bridge (not sure if it’s the Golden Gate, or another one) and guess who’s on that bridge? Yup, Mr. Fantastic. Not only that, but a big container lands on him. I’m really gutted he never got to listen to his voicemail though.

Do you think they’ve all had enough? Well, you’re wrong. There’s still plenty more!

Another wave in the city gets the kids in the building they’re hiding in (the super tallest skyscraper of the world ever Mr. Fantastic was building, because in case of tsunami, nothing is safer than a really tall half-built building that has suffered already two earthquakes of 9.1 and 9.6 on the scale). The building collapses (but just a little). There’s more water coming in and British Boys get separated from Daughter. She gets trapped. British gent is going to save her, but water blocks the door, inundating the other room where she was. Craig gets in the building to rescue her but he can’t. She manages to say goodbye while the remaining pocket of air disappears. Poor Craig, another daughter drowning that he cannot save. Somehow, he gets the energy he needs to remove what was blocking the door, and manages to get her out and to a higher floor, where British Boys happen to be. Blake!, they shout (that’s her name, by the way, I’ve only just remembered!) and he sort of looks like wondering who these two are. He starts CPR. Now, I’ve heard once you start, you can’t stop, but he does stop a couple of times. Anyway, Wife/Mum sees what’s going on and breaks the window by driving the boat through it. Once at a safe distance, they keep with the CPR, but nothing is happening. They all give up. They all cry. I cry, even though I know she’s going to wake up, because all Hollywood films are practically the same. Seeing Wife crying because their other daughter, the alive one, has died as well (and in the same way) as the dead daughter, makes Craig start CPR once again. And hey, she lives.

All to safety. Pan view to a destroyed city. Usual shot of the family with the golden sunlight shining behind them. Cut to great US flag unfolding from the ruins of the bridge and motivational American closing mini speech What now?, asks Wife. Now we start rebuilding, answers he. The End.

So, this film isn’t going to win an award. If you’ve watched that tomorrow-something film where New York is frozen, or any of the volcano films out there, you’ll probably like it. The Rock is super hot in this film (and any film, to be honest), and there’s action all the time. If you’re into girls and all that, both Daughter and Mum are not bad looking either, if you like that sort of thing, that is.

All in all, it was pretty amazing. I won’t say it’s the best film ever, because it’s not, but if you find yourself with nothing to do, and don’t mind the cinema price, do go and see it, because it won’t disappoint you.

That’s it. I had a different post in mind for today, but after watching San Andreas, I couldn’t not write about it. It was a pretty cool film.

Have you watched it? What did you think? What have you watched recently that you would recommend, so I can write about it?

I’m going to the course again tomorrow, and who knows, maybe I’ll stop by the cinema again!

Did I make it on time for Monday? Yes! Ah, no… booo!