Wednesday, June 10, 2015

baby's first disaster movie

The kid and I checked out San Andreas over the weekend. We are both big fans of the ever-charming Dwayne Johnson. There really was not much of a plot to speak of, but that's not what put most of us in the theater seats. It was the premise of pitting The Rock's impressive biceps vs. natural disaster. While Johnson may not have come out completely on top, as most of the California coast looked to be sinking into the sea, it could safely be said that the outcome was at least a draw.

Along with Johnson for the ride were Carla Gugino as his soon-to-be-ex wife, also soon to be ripping up those divorce papers; Paul Giamatti, as an adorable scientist who is trying to save his state while impressing a cute female reporter, and Alexandra Daddario as Johnson's and Gugino's gorgeous and MacGyver-like resourceful college-bound daughter. Oh, and and Ioan Gruffud in the thankless role of Gugino's impossibly rich, smooth, and slimy boyfriend who never really stood a real chance at stealing her away from Johnson, anyway.

Johnson and Gugino race to save their daughter
You've got to be kidding me — now what? Alexandra Daddario, with Hugo Johnstone-Burt (R) and Art Parkinson, watching the latest disaster of the hour

The real star of the movie, of course, are the special effects. For once, CGI of buildings and landmarks crumbling and collapsing make sense and have an impact. Much more than the ridiculous crashing into skyscrapers that weigh down all the comic superhero movies. While the superhuman strength of Johnson and some of the effects may have been on the highly unbelievable side, they were also quite entertaining. The whole experience reminded me of going to the drive-in, many years ago, and watching The Poseidon Adventure with my family. Out of the corner of my eye I could see that my daughter was as frightened and thrilled at the destruction on screen (sorry San Francisco!) as I had been during that film, and as invested in the characters. And isn't that what we go to movies in the first place?


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