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Movie Review: San Andreas: Your Typical Brainless Hollywood Summer Blockbuster

Directed by: Brad Peyton

Cast:Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Ioan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi, Paul Giamatti, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Will Yun Lee, Kylie Minogue.

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First of all let me clarify, this is not based on “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” video game. Secondly don’t tell me that you expected anything different from what San Andreas promised in its trailers. Don’t tell you think its going to be an intelligent movie where you don’t have to leave your brain at home and wherein CGI will be used only when necessary. If you are not expecting any of what i listed the you are going to have a great time at movies with San Andreas which is a perfect successor to a long list of CGI heavy dumb disaster movie wherein the hero always rescues those who matter to him and don’t give a damn about the million others who are dying just around them. It is a movie the likes of Micheal Bay and Roland Emmerich would be proud of.

Story

As i mentioned above, San Andreas gives you exactly what it promises so more than story its CGI that it focuses on. We all saw how can one use CGI to enhance the beauty of a movie like Mad Max but herein, story takes a back seat and CGI takes control. So Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays Chief Ray Gaines, an ex-US Air force pilot who used to perform search and rescue missions but is now working with the Los Angles Fire Department. Story revolves around him and his family who are the only characters whose life matters for this movie. He flies to LA to rescue his wife Emma played by the ageless Carla Gugino and his daughter Blake played by Alexandra Daddario (remember her cameo in True Detective?). Of course how can a disaster movie be made without some of the sidekicks which are plenty here in this flick. Story is as dumb and cliched as it comes so no surprise here.

Acting

I LOL’d while thinking about what to write in this segment. Movie plays it as safe as it comes when it chose Rock, Carla Gugino and Alex Daddario in main leads. The ladies being the perfect eye candy and Rock being the perennial tough guy of Hollywood whose main expression is to raise his side eye brow in case of any danger. It is very difficult to determine whether he is actually sad or happy or scared but he is the perfect replacement to those 80’s action superstars like Stallone and Arnold. Acting wise there ain’t much to talk in here and being fair to the actors its not their fault. All of them do exactly what the script asks of them like Blake ( Alexandra Daddario ) losing one item of her clothing every time a calamity strikes. Dwayne” The Rock” Johnson does his very best in this role and if you are a fan of him the you wont be disappointed here.

Direction and Technical Details

In these sort of movies, CGI is the real deal breaker and i have to say that CGI is done brilliantly here. Never has been the destruction been so fun as it here in San Andreas. Buildings are destroyed, historical monuments are thrashed and so is science but its so fun that you don’t give a damn about that. PR team of the movie had to tone down its publicity a bit due to recent Nepal earthquakes as this movie pretty much makes a mockery of them. So if you are a bit sensitive types, its better to give this movie a skip.

Overall i would say if you are capable of watching movies leaving your brain at home then go for it. This movie is exactly what it promises to be. Dont go in thinking you are going to get a Nolanesque sci-fi masterpiece. If you enjoy the CGI created mayhem and destruction then you wont be disappointed with director Brad Peyton’s San Andreas. My rating, a decent 6/10.

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