San Andreas 3D Blu-ray Review
We haven’t had a natural disaster movie in a while, but after watching SAN ANDREAS, I was reminded that they’re all basically the same thing; a terrible storm, tornado, tsunami threatens the earth and as the world is falling apart, we focus on one family’s struggle. It’s a tried and true formula and although some movies manage to mess it up (2012), you’re usually in for a fun ride. SAN ANDREAS offers nothing new to the genre, but the film is better than it has any right to be, thanks in large part to another charming performance from Dwayne Johnson.
Ray (Johnson) is an LA Fire Department rescue chopper pilot in the midst of a divorce from his wife Emma (Gugino) and trying to stay connected to his daughter Blake (Daddario). After a massive earthquake hits Nevada, Ray is called in to help with the rescue efforts. But before he can get there, another devastating earthquake goes off in LA and San Francisco, forcing Ray to redirect his rescue efforts to save his ex-wife and daughter.
So there’s not much to the plot; a seasoned tough guy has to save his family while earthquakes destroy California. If you’ve ever seen a disaster movie, you know that there always has to be a smart guy that knows everything but can’t get anyone to listen. That role is filled by Paul Giamatti and although he’s far better than anything the role required, his presence added at least a little credibility to the plot. There’s also an overly dramatic subplot about Ray and Emma getting over the death of their other daughter from a few years earlier, which wasn’t entirely necessary for this type of film but they did manage to pull it off. But no one shows up to these types of movies for the plot; you want to see action and destruction. And that’s where SAN ANDREAS comes through.
The film opens with an intense, CLIFFHANGER-esque opening, which immediately grabs the audience’s attention. The movie doesn’t live up to that opening because every action/destruction scene after that fails to replicate the suspense. That’s not necessarily bad, but the film has a cartoony vibe to it and as much fun as it is to watch The Rock save everyone, there’s never really a fear that things aren’t going to work out. Which leads me to…
SAN ANDREAS 3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
SAN ANDREAS is greatly helped out by one of the best 3D presentations I’ve seen in a while. I knew what I was watching was a little ridiculous, but it was so impressive and immersive to watch that I was able to forgive some of the film’s shortcomings. Films like 2012 and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW had bad CGI that took you out of the film, but the CGI and 3D effects in SAN ANDREAS pulled you in and made the film feel more like an amusement park ride than a movie.
With a different lead actor, SAN ANDREAS could have been pretty forgettable. But with Johnson leading the way and surrounded by great 3D effects and impressive CGI, SAN ANDREAS proved to be an enjoyable film.
Video: The 2D video was just as impressive.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Commentary with Brad Peyton: Peyton gives a surprisingly good commentary, covering everything you’d want to know about SAN ANDREAS. Single participant commentaries can be rough, but Peyton does a great job.
San Andreas: The Real Fault Line (6:20): This is a misleading title since I thought it would focus on the actual San Andreas fault line. Instead, it’s more of a play on words and has the cast and crew talking about making the film look realistic.
Deleted/Extended Scenes (4:21): Eight scenes total, some of which aren’t completed. You can also watch these with commentary from Brad Peyton.
Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue (9:20): This is dedicated to some of The Rock’s stunts in the film.
Scoring the Quake (6:12): A featurette dedicated to the score in the film.
Gag Reel (1:20): Typical outtakes
Stunt Reel (2:54): A montage of the stunt work in SAN ANDREAS.