Friday, 12 June 2015

A Pinoy at the Movies: San Andreas

My friend Roselyn, who lives in Hollywood, didn't want to watch this film. So, I told her I'd watch it for her. I understand that it's a constant worry for those living in California. Everyone's dreading the 'big one' to happen, and as Paul Giamatti bluntly says it in this film, "it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when."

San Andreas is a earthquake disaster film named after the San Andreas fault that runs through California. If I remember right, Lex Luthor, in the Christopher Reeve's Superman movie, planned to chop off California into the ocean starting from the San Andreas Fault. Of course, Lex didn't succeed; Superman was there to save the day. And California.

In this film, Dwayne Johnson, with his big muscles, was like Superman without the red, white and blue costume. But still he could fly; both a helicopter and a twin-engine plane, that is.

As this was all about earthquakes, scenes of collapsing buildings and other structures were necessary, so unlike Man of Steel and Avengers: Age of Ultron, where the directors didn't know that too much destruction scenes could be boringly irritating.  Here, in San Andreas, the special effects of falling buildings in San Francisco and Los Angeles were topnotch. I almost felt sorry seeing the Transamerica Pyramid building fall, as I was just there a few years ago taking its picture from the street level. Now, it's ruined. :-)

Aside from Dwayne Johnson, familiar faces were in the movie trying to survive the 9.1 earthquake. Carla Gugino from Night In A Museum plays Johnson's estranged wife, while their daughter, Alexandra Daddario was their gorgeous, smart daughter. After all, Daddario was Athena's daughter in Percy Jackson, Lightning Thief

Ioan Gruffud here speaks American English. In his TV series Forever, he has that British accent although he was supposed to have lived in New York for a century. And if you watch The Good Wife, you'd recognize Kalinda here as a news reporter without her gothic make-up. By the way, Kylie Minogue is in this movie, too. She was at a top-floor restaurant when an earthquake struck, and she fell off the building. Presumably, she wasn't able to order her lunch.

Although I know it's quite scary for Californians to watch San Andreas, as my friend Roselyn says "it's close to home"; I think they can pick up a few pointers on what to do in case there's an actual earthquake. 

And if only for the very good computer-generated imagery, the movie delivers the scenes I expected, and the destruction of San Francisco and Los Angeles reminded me of The Day After Tomorrow and 2012

You can still catch San Andreas and its aftershocks at the cinemas. :-)

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