San Andreas (Review)

Directed by Brad Peyton

Directed by Brad Peyton

The Rock took on an Earthquake and walked out like a champ!

Disaster movies are so popular with the worldwide audience. Hollywood has made several fairly good disaster movies in the last ten years. The Day After Tomorrow, Wars of Worlds, Children of Men, and 2012 are just a few to mention. Disaster movies are movies that global catastrophic events happen in the world such as aliens coming to invade, natural disasters (volcanos, hurricanes, snow storms), and epidemics such as diseases. San Andreas is the disaster blockbuster about the San Andreas fault producing a massive earthquake that strikes California.

Dawyne “The Rock” Johnson plays a helicopter rescue pilot named Ray. He going through a divorce with his former wife Emma, Carla Cugino. Ray’s and his daughter Blake, Alexandra Daddario, are planning a back to school road trip together.   Lawrence, Paul Giamatti, is the leading seismologist at ULCA and his partner Dr. Kim Park,  Will Yun Lee, head to Nevada to test if they can predict Earthquakes.  However, an Earthquake strikes the Hoover Dam killing Dr. Park and forcing Ray to cancel plans with his daughter. Emma’s boyfriend, Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd), wants to take Blake to school after he completes business in San Francisco.  Lawrence is back at UCLA and is interrupted during an press interview when a massive 9.6 Earthquake hits California. Ray makes a choice to save his ex wife and they head to San Fran to save their daughter.  They don’t know that San Fran is about to be hit by two huge natural disasters.

San Andreas is an entertaining movie and it is a fairly good movie. It’s not a Oscar winning movie but it will entertain you for two hours.  The acting is one of the strongest positives in the film. The Rock is exceptionally charismatic and charming like usually.  Alexandra Daddario and Carla Gugino are spectacular in the movie.  Every actor in the movie delivers a great performance.  Alexandra might steal the show a little bit. She displays a lot of emotional and terror in her eyes. Her career in Hollywood is one to watch.

The problem with San Andreas are the cheesy dialogue that the characters say sometimes. Paul Giamatti has a cheesy line from the trailer “call everybody.” He said the line after an intense moment of discovering another major quake is about to hit LA.  There are other cheesy moments in San Andreas. The movie also takes a 10 to 15 minute break for character development.  San Andreas is an action movie and character development can be easily be woven into the action sequences.

Overall, San Andreas is a fun disaster movie. It’s not as good as the Day After Tomorrow but the special effects are amazing. The sounds of buildings collapsing are great too. The Rock and the other actors deliver and carry the movie to make memorable. The worst part is that I expected to see California sink into the ocean at the end of the film. San Andreas gets a 3/5.


Mad Max: Fury Road Review

The trailers for Mad Max: Fury Road didn’t excite this critic. Thankfully, the movies are not determined by their trailers. Mad Max: Fury Road is one thrilling, action packed, and entertaining movie.  Fury Road can be compared to Edge of Tomorrow and Godzilla, two summer blockbusters that came out last year.

Fury Road begins with Mad Max, Tom Hardy, roaming the apocalyptical Australian Wasteland while being chased a group called War Boys. He’s captured and used as blood blank. The War Boys are led by a fascist leader, Immortal Joe, who controls every valuable resource. One of his top lieutenants, Furiosa, and a group called five wives, which Immortal Joe uses for reproduction purposes, wants to escape from his control and heads for a potential paradise.  Max is taken by his blood recipient, Nux, to pursue the wives with Immortal Joe and the rest of the War Boys. Max must decide to aide Furiosa and the five wives or not helping them and becoming that lone wolf who wanders the desert.

The trailers for Mad Max and Edge of Tomorrow were so awful that critics thought the movies could flop at the box office. Edge of Tomorrow didn’t flop and Mad Max is poised to be a mega hit with audiences. Mad Max like Edge of Tomorrow is filled with heart pounding thrilling action that will keep the audience’s attention. The film stars with a car chase and the stunts and action sequences keep getting more insane as the movie goes on. The action sequences in Mad Max help tell the story and a few times I caught myself leaning forward in my seat with my heart thumping while watching every major action scene in the movie.  Fury Road is for all of the major action movie addicts who want to stuffed popcorn in their face while watching this flick. The sequences have little CGI and are practical action stunts like 80’s action movies. One negative aspect of the film is the lack of Mad Max being the main character.

Mad Max and Godzilla suffer from main character shortage. Godzilla had like 10 minutes of screen time in his movie. Mad Max has more screen time but really isn’t the main character. Furiosa is main character of the film. Max is heavily involved with the plot and action sequences but it felt like we were watching a movie about Furiosa and not Mad Max. Furiosa is a strong heroic character but the movie is titled Mad Max and not Furiosa after all. Tom Hardy really never got a chance to shine as Mad Max emotionally but he does kick a lot War Boyz butt.

Mad Max: Fury Road gets a 4/5 because the movie isn’t about Mad Max but he’s heavily involved with the action and plot.