Themes: resolution, strength, adversity, climate change and the importance of science; ignorance, animosity, redemption, love, forgiveness, dealing with loss, RESILIENCE and FAMILY.
You’ve never seen someone tipping the hat and thought how BAD ARSE that was UNTIL NOW.
Let me start by saying you HAVE TO SEE THIS FILM IN IMAX 3D if it’s available or at least in RPX!!! The sounds, the sensations are absolutely part of the overall experience!!! This is exactly the type of film these theatres were made for!
The peril is meant to have a direct impact on your viewing experience AND IT DOES. You need to feel it in your seat, like you feel it in your heart! (FYI my heart rate hit 138 even the second time we screened this). It NEVER ceases and that’s an integral part of the film. When something this catastrophic occurs, there isn’t a moment’s peace until it is over and either we rise or we fall.
Oh and let me just say I LOVE Ollie, played supremely by Art Parkinson. We are introduced to him quite early in the film and what a brilliant casting! He’s endearing as the voice of reason and highly intelligent for such a young age! JOY! JOY! JOY!
And Hugo Johnstone-Burt, who plays his dashing older brother Ben, is also a welcome addition to this cast and on Hollywood’s radar. These two have extremely bright futures ahead and their sibling chemistry is absolutely palpable and fun to watch!!!
To Carla Gugino: how do you kiss a man who is that gorgeous and not faint?!?! Ok, ok, OK, but honestly, when you pulled your Muma lioness claws out when it came to your daughter, I FELT THAT!!! RORRRRRR!!!! Ok, ok….back to business.
Ok…now. Let’s get in on, shall we?
First, let’s talk a bit about THE SCALE of this film.
Oftentimes with disaster flicks like these, we aren’t given an idea of just how not only difficult an undertaking such a large-scale film is, but also we aren’t given the necessary panoramic and wide shots necessary to understand the SHEER SIZE of such a film.We aren’t given the impact the disaster truly has not only on the areas immediately affected, but the outer-lying areas.
San Andreas one ups nearly every other disaster flick because as a viewer, you’re not only educated on HOW the situation is going to deteriorate, but you’re also given a true scope of ALL who will be affected and WHY.
There’s literally an implicit domino effect that not only does not allow for a moment’s peace, but you are given a clear sense of literally how one domino topples the other.
It’s difficult to obtain such Nirvana in a film like this because so many people are jaded that they deem themselves experts on what’s plausible and what’s so-called silly or over the top. In disaster films there often a sense of being provided just the right out or escape if you will at the right time.
Thankfully in San Andreas, you aren’t given what you need to survive and overcome without consequences.
Can I just say; having watched Dwayne Johnson’s growth and evolution into a bona fide action star has been an absolutely wonderful experience! If you found yourself question whether or not he is a bona fide action star, you CERTAINLY have your answer with this wild ride of a film!
He gives you lowest of the low, highest of the high, love, anger, sadness, strength (both internal and external) and everything in between. It’s nice to see such a handsome face have its layers peeled back and there before so much more dynamically wonderful things underneath.
He has a daughter (she’s adorable, FYI) and for that reason alone you could see what his motivations were to not only make this film his best on his best day, but to take on the task of showing the deepest levels of a Father’s love for his children. In other words, The Rock is here to stay, and that is GLORIOUS in and of itself!
Paul Giamatti ladies and gentlemen! In a film where hope can be in extremely short supply, one that can easily overwhelmed with action and mayhem, we have Lawrence (a bull’s-eye with Paul Giamatti), a brilliant scientist who’s been working a long time with his partner Kim to try and figure out a consistent way to predict earthquakes.
What I love about Giamatti in this film is not only does he have the uncanny ability to make the sometimes problematic science in the film WORK, but that he also has the ability to bring a rallying energy into the film that can be difficult for people of science to handle in such a scenario because they KNOW what the worst is that can occur generally.
They’ve envisioned these worse case scenarios in their minds and the outcomes are NEVER pretty. Giamatti’s Lawrence from the beginning on the film is tested on such a scale that few can imagine the strength required to pass such a test.
There is unbelievable sacrifice that Giamatti does a surreal job of showcasing. His heart and his failures (of course they aren’t really but to him they surely feel that way) pull you in and his science and pure determination to change the fate of so many millions of people keep you there.
No world leaders? No message from the POTUS regarding the quakes, the effects they had and will continue to have? No direct acknowledgement of how ill prepared we truly are for such an event?
I feel like there was so much more to this film that ended up on the cutting room floor. What a shame, because there are few things that would normally occur during such a cataclysmic event that would be irrelevant.
We are told about the effects of the quakes on California and the East coast (ripple effects), but with a natural disaster on such a grand scale that potentially could have moved the state of California 47 feet away from the rest of the country on the San Andreas fault line – why on earth would you NOT have an announcement from the POTUS acknowledging not only those whom lost their lives in the disaster, but also thanking those who responded to the call for rescue and recovery?
Why not allow the POTUS to acknowledge the strength of the people affected and the sense of community and empathy that these disasters bring about? These things tend to galvanise us in a way that we just don’t seem to move about at any other time.
This isn’t really a criticism so much as a note about a missed opportunity. I think that would have served not only to properly close out the film, along with creating a true sense of what if that should have been on the minds of every viewed as they were leaving the theatre.
Throughout San Andreas there is a sense of NEVER GIVING up.
From the scientists whom are trying (through their hard work) to give us prior warning to us all, to the people within these disasters attempting not only to survive but to reach out to others who need our help and guidance, to the first responders who lay their lives on the line nearly every day, often for people they don’t even know.
I believe the exceptional job is does in conveying this story’s message from the pointe of view of all these people, is something so rare, that it should be studied, revered, celebrated, and most importantly ENJOYED.
Yes our enjoyment may be tenuous at times if only because we realise the true implications of what we are seeing and find ourselves pondering the realities of so many what ifs in so little time.
Spellbinding, Mesmerizing, Life Changing, History Making, MAGIC. FILM. And YES, #SheCritiquesIt!
The Swirl World’s Resident Movie Reviewer Joyll Cambridge hails from Manchester, United Kingdom and currently lives in New York, New York. She loves all things movies, fitness and swirling. To read Joyll’s personal blog at The Humanist Exec, click here.
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Copyright ©2015 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, The Swirl World Podcast™, The Swirl World Inspiration Daily™, Swirl Nation™, All rights reserved. Photo of Joyll Cambridge used with permission. Movie poster of San Andreas (2015) obtained from the San Andreas Facebook Page. All rights reserved.