San Andreas ★★

Hey, isn't that...oh sorry, I should have said wasn't that Kylie Minogue?

Actually that very, very brief Kylie sequence sums up what irritated me about San Andreas. Apart from two exceptions, all the casualties of the disaster barely register on screen. The only characters the film actually gives a toss about are the band of survivors, and that's pretty poor. The fun of a disaster movie is bringing together a starry ensemble cast, getting invested in each of them, and then being surprised by those who don't make it to the end credits.

There are sequences here which director Brad Peyton clearly thinks are emotional, but just aren't. When the tsunami hits San Francisco there's a moment where he fills the screen up with people just seconds away from death, showcasing how they react to their fate. This would have had significantly more impact if we'd actually got to know at least some of these characters throughout the course of the movie first. Equally, there's a bit at the end where a load of extras who have survived the ordeal reunite, embrace, pray together or look crestfallen thinking of those that they have personally lost. Again, it barely registers emotionally because the film hasn't bothered to develop any plot strands beyond its basic A and B. Peyton's only real interest is the impact this devastating natural disaster has on buildings, not people.

And people wonder why disaster movies don't get made any more? Still, it's nice to see a film that actually praises the efforts of experts for a change. Stick that up your arse Michael Gove!

Also, there's no way in hell that a pubescent British kid wouldn't find the name Nob Hill utterly hilarious - even in the middle of a life and death situation.

Mark liked this review