Next up this summer blockbuster season is the disaster movie, San Andreas. This heavy computer generated effects movie stars Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) as a soon to be divorced rescue pilot, who is trying to rescue his estranged wife and daughter.
Lulubell: We saw this movie over opening weekend, and I was surprised by how well it did in the box office. I'm surprised that most disaster movies do well (end of the world= yay?). So thinking about what we saw Kaely, describe the movie in one word?
Kaely: Campy (but in a good way)
Lupita: Hahaha. Yeah, I've got to agree, and I have to add the word (or words)-- in your face. In the first minutes alone, it tries to pump out an adrenaline rush for the audience. It really was non-stop. This is a bad movie that is good.
Kaely: I like my disaster movies to have lots of action, and invite me to believe what is happening. Because it’s all ridiculous—San Andreas got me to buy into the story because it had enough humorous bits to make it not so terribly serious.
Twister is my all time favorite disaster movie. It has just the right amount of absurdity, but it doesn’t go too far. I feel like San Andreas is on the same level. They didn’t go into completely outrageous areas—like for example, adding tornadoes, or a hurricane or something.
Lulubell: Yeah, I feel like it didn't take itself too seriously and because of that they had fun with it. Which in turn made the viewers have fun watching it. When a movie with a ridiculous premise tries to be way too serious it will inevitably fail. The suspension of disbelief can only go so far. I'm looking at you Into the Storm.
Kaely: The story was rife with predictability and cliches, but it worked. I enjoyed the tsunami scene the most. That giant wave—oh man. I’ve been out on the ocean during a hurricane. That scene got my heart pounding. The effects were handled well. It was over the top, but since I bought into the story I could accept it. Again, they didn’t over do it by adding in unbelievable elements like a cyclone or tornado or something.
Lulubell: I think most people like disaster movies precisely because of the heart pounding. It seems like it's almost a form of escapism. I can include myself in that, though I use all movies as a form of escapism. Hehe. Thinking of "disaster" films in particular though, we get a tried and true trope with these that most people enjoy. Horrible event happens, people have to band together, family problems get magically resolved in the end. San Andreas follows that to the tee. The idea of going through this disaster (albeit by proxy) while we are watching this is almost cathartic. Plus, you have a family that many can relate too and you get a happy ending. What better way to spend a weekend no? If only the acting was better, but beggars can't be choosers.
Kaely: The acting was one-dimensional. The Rock managed to fill out his character quite literally with his bulk and charisma. He’s the perfect choice for a movie like this. The rest of the acting was rather flat and predicable. But that didn’t matter because I was enjoying watching California fall apart.
Lulubell: Haha. Wow, destruction is your thing. Haha. Agreed, the acting wasn't very good. No offense Mr. Johnson, but you need to learn to emote. That's where you show a little bit of a thing called emotion. Moving on.
It seems that these days there needs to be a "disaster" moving coming out each year. It's tradition.
Kaely: It’s been a while since we’ve had a decent disaster movie. I feel the genre is plagued by forced seriousness. This genre is ridiculous. That’s the point. I came to see the ground fall part, buildings crumble, and floods. That’s what I got, plus the diet-soda-esque consumability. I don’t want to invest in the characters, because that’s not what I’m coming to see. I’m coming to see awesome CGI and effects. Did I care about the characters? Not really. But that didn’t matter. I had fun!
Lulubell: I think most people who watch this movie will have fun. Be it because of the effects, the story or because they have a new movie to make fun of. I think this film accomplished what it set out to do, which was to entertain the masses.
Kaely: Overall impression. Thumbs up. It delivered exactly what I wanted, which was to see California fall apart. (I have a secret desire to have beach front property here in Phoenix). Coming out of the theater I was like “Yes!” It was fun. The perfect summer popcorn movie. Easy to digest and doesn’t ask much of you.
Lulubell: Yeah, it's a movie that won't leave you with burning questions after. So, as far as my star rating, I would give it a 3. Easy, simple and entertaining. Go watch it as a matinee.
Kaely: I give it a 4. Like I said, one of the better disaster movies in a terribly long time. I would recommend it.
Lulubell: There you have it folks. Our quick review of San Andreas. Let us know what you thought in the comments and give us your favorite disaster movie.