By: Mike Agostinelli
Have you ever wanted to read the equivalent of me bending a movie over and forcibly violating it? Well settle in, because a crime of passion is about to take place.
Here’s the plot of San Andreas: The Rock vs an earthquake. That’s all you need to know to determine whether or not you’ll be interested in this movie. I thought I would be. I hate disaster flicks, but I love The Rock. I’ll watch anything that has this guys name on it, dating all the way back to his WWE days. He literally oozes charisma and likability. Not so much in this movie. It’s like he decided to take about three steps backwards acting-wise, and figured the best way to capture our hearts was to do his best Terminator impression. It also doesn’t help that the script makes him into the most unheroic, selfish, and inept hero in the history of cinema. We are told he’s some vaunted helicopter rescue pilot, yet every time he gets behind the joystick of one he either crashes it or nearly crashes it. He also barely saves anyone save for one forced scene. He literally breezes by screaming people in need of assistance for a majority of the film, and abandons his duties as an air rescue pilot to go run off after his daughter with his annoying ass soon-to-be-ex wife in tow.
The other characters don’t fair much better. The opening scene introduces us to The Rocks apparently awesome rescue team, who manage to almost botch a rescue before unceremoniously vanishing, never to be heard from or mentioned again for the rest of the film. Maybe they were off actually, you know, rescuing people. Paul Giamatti also pops in as an earthquake expert, even though “pop” is too light of a word to describe what he actually does. He essentially runs screaming throughout the entire movie, yelling exposition at the top of his lungs while looking incredibly out of shape. I was exhausted just watching him. I can only imagine how he felt at the end of a shooting day. The director also insists on cutting back to the subplot of The Rocks ex wife’s current boyfriend, a gigantic asshole that has no business getting as much screen time as he does. They set him up like he’s a nice, caring guy. So much so that I as about to respect this movie for doing something genuinely original: making the new boyfriend a likable dude. But the inevitable assholeness presents itself, and we keep cutting back to his adventures as he pushes people into the path of incoming rubble and leaves distressed pedestrians behind on his selfish journey of survival. Until he dies in the most tired and predictable fashion possible. Spoilers? No, I consider this review a public service, spoilers and all.
All of this stupidity has the feel of one of those Syfy channel Saturday night movies. I would have respected this more if it were one of those. At least they know what they are, and don’t attempt to be anything else. This movie thinks its an emotional roller coaster drama, an epic dissection of family dynamics and the power of love. No. Just no. The best thing I can say about this disaster (thats a pun) is that its watchable. But its watchable in the sense that the poop you just laid in the toilet is watchable, as you bend over to see what it looks like before you flush. Morbid curiosity is the only thing that would drive you to spend money on this after the warning I just laid on you. I implore you to just avoid this nonsense.
Allow me to finish with a description of the final scene of this film to hammer home my point:
The Rock and his family look out over the wreckage of the city, as soldiers drape a large American flag over the rubble of the Golden Gate Bridge. His ex-wife looks up at him.
Ex-wife: “So…….what now?”
The Rock: “Now…..we rebuild.”
I give San Andreas a 2 out of 10.