Movie Review: San Andreas (2015)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2015 action movie starring Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino.

Synopsis: When the San Andreas Fault becomes active and causes a series of record-setting earthquakes that completely destroy San Francisco, rescue pilot Raymond Gaines and his estranged wife, Emma, brave the damage and various other obstacles in an effort to reach the city, find their daughter and rescue her from the chaos.


I ended up getting this movie through Netflix because my wife wanted to see it but, partly because of a busy schedule and partly because I had some doubts about the film, we had it for several weeks before we finally sat down to watch it a couple days ago. After seeing this movie, I have to admit I am impressed and would describe it as one of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's best films.

The thing I found I liked most about this movie was the way it managed to keep a fairly steady pace. A lot of films in this genre have a surprisingly limited amount of action in them. This movie, however, was one I would describe as having almost non-stop action. There were a couple well-timed pauses to introduce characters or explain a backstory. But, those were kept to a pleasant minimum and, because of that, there were times when my wife and I were trying to find a second to catch our breath (especially when they were trying to escape an earthquake-caused tsunami).

Another thing I liked about this movie was the way it focused on two parents working to save their daughter. As a parent myself, it was actually surprisingly easy to relate to Raymond (Johnson) and Emma (Gugino) as they put aside their marital problems and worked together (though Raymond did most of the work) to find their missing daughter (Daddario). I didn't even mind the fact their relationship status took a couple predictable turns.

The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was Ioan Gruffudd's character, Daniel. I like Gruffudd (his television series "Forever," was cancelled way too soon) and thought his talents were somewhat wasted on a cliche, one-dimensional rich guy who only thought of himself. I would have liked to see his character at least attempt to be a hero, especially since he was supposed to be Raymond's rival. The movie made Emma choosing between the two way too easy.

Final Opinion

This is an entertaining movie with some fantastic special effects, great action sequences and solid characters. I would recommend taking the time to watch this movie if you haven't seen it yet.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 01/06/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/08/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system here has this film in its Blu-ray and DVD collections. It also has a documentary-type film called San Andreas: The Next Megaquake and a feature film titled San Andreas Quake. Have you seen either of the two latter films?

Perhaps I'll get them out, for a weekend perhaps more thought-provoking than unsettling what with planning to watch, after reading your review, the original and the remake of House of Wax.

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