I think the most unbelievable part about the movie San Andreas is that someone would divorce Dwayne Johnson.
Sunday night, the Husband and I were miserable. Our air conditioner couldn’t keep up with the oppressive heat and humidity hammering down on our home. We weren’t in any danger of dying from heat exhaustion but we were far from comfortable. Eventually, we escaped our home and went to the climate controlled haven known as the movie theater.
San Andreas: The Premise
Ever heard the joke about how, one day, California will slide into the sea? San Andreas takes that joke and more or less makes it a reality. The entire San Andreas fault is going off and Ray, a rescue helicopter pilot and crew chief, has to rescue his soon-to-be-ex-wife and daughter.
The movie is your basic disaster flick. Think 2012 but localized to California. There’s the strong alpha male with marriage problems who has to save the family he’s on the verge of losing through divorce. Sort of like any of the Die Hard movies but with earthquakes.
The Science Behind the Movie
The special effects for San Andreas are amazing and I gasped more than once. But what about the science behind it? How close to reality was the movie.
California can’t have really massive earthquakes like the movie portrays. Those sort of earthquakes happen when one tectonic plate slides under another. However, in California, the plates move past each other, known as a transform seismic zone.
The earthquake isn’t the only problem. At one point, Ray (Dwayne Johnson) has to survive a tsunami. But how he does it goes against science and logic. You can read the article about it here. I won’t include more because I promised no spoilers.
Who Needs Logic?
When Ray learns that everything in California is going to crap, he’s in his helicopter, flying it to maintenance. He immediately diverts to save his family. When that happened, I braced and waited for him to be called back to his rescue unit and then seeing the resulting argument with his boss.
And I waited…
And realized it was never going to happen.
Ray is a crew chief. We’ve met his team members. We got a little backstory on them. But, the moment the quake happened and Ray started on his quest to save his family, it was as if they were completely forgotten. His boss didn’t try to call him back, which would make sense as the fire and rescue guys would need every available man and machine. Ray didn’t seem to wonder for even a moment what his team was up to and we never did learn what happened to them during the quake. We don’t even know if they survived. It was as if the writer and director only wanted Ray to be in the rescue business just so he would have skills and a helicopter.
Good Guy Brits?? SHOCK!
At one point in the movie, Ray’s daughter teams up with a visiting Brit and his kid brother. (The actor playing the Brit is from Australia but Hollywood never cares about stuff like that.) I was so happy to hear an English accent being spoken by someone who wasn’t a villain or an asshole. You don’t usually see that outside of a romantic comedy. That was a really refreshing change. And the kid brother, Ollie, is adorable beyond words.
Should You See San Andreas?
Yes because it’s a fun watch. Dwayne Johnson is a great actor (and very good looking). The special effects are amazing (even if they portray events that wouldn’t happen in California). Though the story line has a few logic holes, it’s still a really good story with a very satisfying ending.
But don’t walk in expecting some sort of serious film. It’s a disaster movie, after all. When it comes to movies, anymore, it’s always best to manage your expectations.