MV5BNjI4MTgyOTAxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjQwOTA4NTE@._V1_SX214_AL_What’s it all about?

In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey with his ex-wife across the state in order to rescue his daughter.

Why did I want to watch it?

I have a bit of a soft spot for The Rock and I love disaster movies, there’s something cathartic about seeing all that destruction as long as you don’t think too hard about the body count. We meant to see it in the cinema but weren’t able to for some reason now lost in the mists of time.

What did I think of it?

San Andreas was a very enjoyable Saturday night popcorn movie. I watched it curled up on the sofa under a blanket recovering from a tummy bug and it was exactly what I needed, not at all mentally challenging and a great opportunity to play spot the plot development and predict the dialogue because this film could have been made at any time in the 1970s (apart from the quality of the special effects, obviously).

There may be minor spoilers here but honestly you could work most of this out for yourself.

We have a hero who still loves his estranged wife – note IMDb that he hasn’t signed the divorce papers yet – and they are only separated because he can’t talk about his Feelings that have resulted from a family tragedy. Estranged wife is moving in with not wholly sleazy wealthy architect but you just know he’s going to turn out to be unreliable at the very least, and is on the hit list for not making it to the end. You have the bright and likeable daughter who actually does a lot of saving herself along with the two comedy English boys who are actually quite sweet. And there is of course a happy ending where everyone hugs and plans to rebuild as the music swells and the Stars and Stripes unfurls.

It is remarkably traditional, and works because everyone plays it straight. The Rock is lovely and solid and believable though I’m not sure his bosses will thank him for focussing on his own family rather than saving strangers which is his job, but technically he’s on vacation so that’s probably OK. I really liked the daughter who was by no means a damsel in distress and had clearly listened to everything her dad had taught her. The subplot with Paul Giamatti as the scientist who knows what’s coming and warns people but of course not quite in time could have come from any similar film in the past 40 years but he did it very well.

And despite my initial misgivings the Golden Gate gets it, as is only right and proper for any California based disaster movie.

What can I say, I liked it 😀

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