San Andreas vibrationally shakes its cast off the ground and into implausible, unlikely and downright lucky situations. Disaster films have never been my pleasure, heck they're not even my guilty pleasure. Films designed to showcase state-of-the-art visual effects, masquerading a plot that is, more often than not, stupid beyond belief. Ding ding! Oh, looks like we have a winner. This blockbuster measured a magnitude of "purposefully preposterous" on the Richter scale (and yes, I'm aware it's a numbered system...). A series of earthquakes caused by the San Andreas Fault pummels a helicopter-rescue pilot into traversing the entire western coast in order to save his ex-wife and daughter before a skyscraper falls on them or something.
As endearing and heroic as The Rock is, I hope his character got fired after this event. He only saved a handful of people and wasted so many precious minutes attempting to reignite his internal flame for the Gugino sex bomb, that his loyalty and priorities were skewed right from the first camera shake. Screw the public asking for assistance! Right, let me start by saying the film succeeds in what it sets out to do. It's a mildly entertaining popcorn-munching effects extravaganza that harks back to classic 90s disaster flicks. The visuals were decent, the main cast members were charismatic and the much promise of a British chum dissecting the etymology behind "Nob Hill". What more do you desire? One could ask. Oh, I don't know, maybe some genuine logic that doesn't perpetuate geological absurdities?
I'll start with Giamatti's seismologist. An obligatory character used to accentuate the ridiculous behaviour of the fault line. On several occasions, the reporting team constantly interviewing him say something like "he tried to warn you, but no one listened". Umm...excuse me, miss. Yeah. As soon as he discovered that he could predict earthquakes, the whole frickin' country started to shift. He never had time to warn anyone! So don't paint him to be this angelic hero, he left his friend to die on the Hoover Dam because he couldn't be bothered to run towards him. Instead, much like with every line Giamatti shouted, he rampantly screamed "Take cover! Run! Get to the barriers! It'll be over soon! Run! Run! Earthquake! Run!". Oh, but then you get lines like "Right now, I wish I were so wrong. God be with you..." as if he's part of Europe's 'The Final Countdown' music video! Calm down on the epic stares, dear. Your overacting is hurting my eyes. Never mind the science that was mind-bogglingly underdeveloped and unexplainable.
Then we get to the main cast, the Gaines' and their two British pals that Talk like This because They musT pronounce all of Their Ts in The mosT Typical BriTish accenT of all Time. Naturally, with a plot as absurd as San Andreas', there are so many moments when these characters escape death just in the last second of a building collapsing or a helicopter crashing, that you start to believe that they're incarnates of religious deities. No one is constantly that lucky. If Kylie Minogue pummels to her death whilst inhibiting her native Australian vocals for an American accent (actually not bad!), then no one should live. Mr. Not-So-Fantastic makes an appearance as the film's mandatory selfish meanie, which only provided one excellent phone call from Gugino regarding her daughter. The tsunami sequence contained an absurd amount of noticeable green screen that I felt my eyes artificially becoming blinder by the minute. Oh, and how could I forget about the introductory sequence with the girl in her car, and the helicopter managing to balance itself in the tight crevice of a canyon whilst her car is locked into place vertically by a few pebbles. Say no more, say no more.
Anyway, I know what you are all going to say. "It's supposed to be dumb fun!". And sure, I cherish "dumb fun" like the rest of you. But there is only so much dumb I can take before I start to question the logic and realism that the film exhumes (hint: none). There's only so much destruction before my mind becomes numb to it. Despite some catastrophic visuals and a dependable cast, San Andreas shakes its plot too ferociously for its own good. The last ten minutes being a prime example of that.