San Andreas (2015)

BRAD PEYTON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA/Australia, 2015.  , , , .  Story by , , Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

We all know that California is ready to fall off the face of the Earth and, in this imaginative disaster flick, it finally does when the San Andreas fault heats up and explodes all over the west coast.  Buildings crumble like dry cookies, people are injured and killed while the majority of the population does its best to evacuate the most vulnerable areas after geological expert Paul Giamatti gets on the boob tube and warns them of impending doom.  Meanwhile, is reunited with ex-wife and they take a helicopter (and then a truck and then a boat) to Los Angeles to find their daughter (), despite the fact that she has learned everything from her rescue operations expert father and seems to be pretty good at taking care of herself.  It’s the kind of movie that opens with a girl tumbling down an entire cliff side in her car, which flips a dozen times and she survives with barely a concussion, which means you should sit back and enjoy the brainless indulgence in campy fun.  Unfortunately, director Brad Peyton doesn’t actually realize how ridiculous his movie is, making an earnest attempt at drama that even Roland Emmerich would find hilarious (to be fair, he also keeps it a lot shorter than the indulgences that Emmerich forces us through).  Where are the reality TV stars being pommelled by flying cars?  Even the death of the closest thing to a villain that the movie can provide is only half as funny as it could be, while the ridiculously brief inclusion of as a steely cold bitch is barely passed over before an anticlimactic exit.  It’s a film designed to basically indulge our voyeuristic pleasure in destroying things and killing random people, and one is overemphasized while the latter is meagerly presented; one wants to forgive all its flaws and label it a guilty pleasure, but with far too much violent noise and far too little carnage, the bad writing, acting and directing get to be too much and there’s no fun to be had.

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