San Andreas 4K Ultra HD 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.

San Andreas 4K Ultra HD

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.

San Andreas 4K Ultra HD

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.

San Andreas 4K Ultra HD

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.


This 4K Ultra HD disc was viewed on a Sony XBR-850C Television using a Samsung UBD-K8500 player

Video: I was really impressed with Warner’s 3D Blu-ray of SAN ANDREAS and while I won’t get into the 3D versus 4K debate, I enjoyed the 4K presentation just as much.  This, along with Warner’s PAN, is a nice way to show off what 4K can do.  All disaster movies have moments of distortion, sometimes due to a limitation of the format they’re being presented on and sometimes it’s intentional due to shoddy CGI.  But SAN ANDREAS actually has some impressive special effects and the detail presented in 4K is very impressive.  There’s a scene towards the end when Ray and Emma are searching for Blake on a boat in the city and every minor detail shines through.

Audio: The audio was equally impressive.

There are no 4K exclusive features, but this does include the Blu-ray disc and you can read our review by clicking SAN ANDREAS Blu-ray Review.

Click 4K Ultra HD to read more of our 4K reviews.


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