Dir: Brad Peyton
There is nothing quite like a good disaster movie and 2015's San Andreas is nothing like a good disaster movie. It is, indeed, a disaster. The only congratulatory comments I've read about the film are in regard to the special effects but personally I thought they were some of the worst I've seen in a mainstream motion picture for quite some time. The opening scene sees a car drive off a cliff after being hit by a landslide and while it was nice not to have to wait too long before some action, it was spoiled somewhat by the fact the car looked like a cartoon and fell down the cliff's edge exactly the way a really heavy slinky would. I half expected to see a really fast bird run past shouting 'Beep beep' or a wooden box nearby with the word 'ACME' printed on the side. Talking of wooden, the film stars Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino in what is their third film collaboration and although they play husband and wife, they act as if they've only just met. Alexandra Daddario plays their daughter. She won't be winning any best supporting actor awards for her performance but she is in with a chance for least supported actress. Ioan Gruffudd plays the wealthy stepfather in what is easily the year's worst stereotype and Paul Giamatti is good as science guy but his character is completely pointless. In fact, the whole film is completely pointless. It's pure apocolipti-porn, to coin a phrase. I have felt short-changed in the past with disaster movies but without suitable back story or character development there can never really be the sense of dread or urgency that you really need to conjure the right level of thrill or suspense. I couldn't have cared less about the characters and got tired of watching buildings fall over pretty quick. The characters served no purpose, their chosen professions made little sense (although they were meant to) and there really wasn't any story or structure on which to focus on. Killing Kylie Minogue was the final straw. Special effects aside, structuring a disaster film is easy, they all work by the same set of simple rules, so you would have thought that even the director of Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the two most pointless sequels in the history of cinema, would have got at least something right but no, Brad Peyton and co thought (incorrectly) that rubbish CGI and an ex-wrestler would be enough. It's one of the dumbest things I've seen for a long time, it's almost as dumb as....building on a precarious fault-line in the first place.