San Andreas, by director Brad Peyton, presents the theory that if you are going to be in a massive earthquake your best bet to survive is to have Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as your dad, or at least be dating his daughter. We are introduced to our hero Ray (Dwayne Johnson), a search and rescue helicopter pilot, as he and his team save a woman trapped in a car that was swept off the mountain road by a rockslide. Because this is the world of disaster movies when our hero takes insane risks that jeopardize the aircraft and all onboard it all turns out fine, while if this had been the real world he most likely would have been fired. Or more likely, dead.
“It’s all good, I’ve read ahead in the script.”
“We need a bigger plot.”
“I don’t think this role is going to land me that Oscar.”
When Ray and Emma drove a boat up the face of a tsunami I was too busy laughing to be in suspense, but overall the script by Carlton Cuse kept me invested in the characters and what was going on. Could it have been a bit shorter? Sure, and it could have easily have jettisoned the whole backstory of Ray and Emma’s youngest daughter whose death is what tore their relationship apart, but as it still manages to be under two hours (something many “epics” need to try) I’ll cut it some slack there.
Who cares about a long dead kid when that’s coming at you?
“It’s the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.”