San Andreas — Six things I learnt by watch­ing this movie

San Andreas

I really didn’t have much hopes from this movie after watch­ing the trailer. Not that the trailer was bad, but these types of movies usu­ally have the best moments com­piled in a two minute clip then the other 110 min­utes are usu­ally bad. So, when I decided or rather, my friend con­vinced me to watch this, I told her I would go but only if she paid me back every cent I spent if the movie sucks. Luck­ily for her I didn’t have to because it turned out not too badly.

In the begin­ning, we are intro­duced to the Rock’s char­ac­ter Ray. We get to see him in his ele­ment as a strong and capa­ble res­cue chop­per pilot and then a bit later we get to see the softer side of his char­ac­ter as he sat rem­i­nisc­ing about hap­pier times with his fam­ily, rem­i­nisc­ing brought on by him being served divorce papers. We are also intro­duced to Dr. Lawrence Hayes, Exec­u­tive direc­tor for Earth­quake stud­ies at Call Tech and his col­league Dr. Kim Park who travel to Hoover Dam in Nevada in order to test the pre­dic­tive qual­ity of their tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion that has been designed to pre­dict earth­quakes. Unfor­tu­nately, as they find out it is very effec­tive, an earth­quake strikes the county, and Dr. Park loses his life but not before hero­ically sav­ing a young girl. It is this event that sets up the movie and sets cer­tain events in motion. This event causes Ray to be unable to drive up to Seat­tle with his daugh­ter Blake, because he has to be on duty. Amidst all of this he learns is soon-​to-​be-​ex-​wife Emma is mov­ing in with her new boyfriend, Daniel, though she and Ray are not offi­cially divorced. Ouch! Any­ways, soon-​to-​be-​stepdad now needs to fill in for Ray and take Blake to Seat­tle (which of course does not sit too well with Ray) after a brief detour to San Fran­cisco first, where she meets a hot British guy Ben, and his lit­tle brother Colin.

1st thing I learnt: Lit­tle sib­lings have more game than their older sib­lings and are great wingmen.

How­ever, the quake at Nevada proves to be no one time event and another earth­quake erupts. Despite his crushed heart, Ray has to go and save soon-​to-​be-​ex-​wife from the earth­quake (quite handy to know some­one who has a heli­copter at this point, eh?). While all of this is hap­pen­ing, soon-​to-​be-​step dad aban­dons Blake in a park­ing garage after the lat­ter gets stuck in a car. To be fair to soon-​to-​be-​step dad, he almost got his foot chopped off while try­ing to get help for Blake, so he prob­a­bly wasn’t think­ing straight. Right?

2nd thing I learnt: Dur­ing a cri­sis (espe­cially in the movies) chances are when some­one says they will be back, they won’t be.

After Ray saves Emma (using the heli­copter he’s sup­posed to be sav­ing other peo­ple with I might add) his trapped, aban­doned daugh­ter calls him to let him know that she’s in trou­ble. Dad tells mom “we’re going to get our daugh­ter.” Turns out hot British guy Ben and lil bro have that cov­ered for the moment as they return to save trapped aban­doned daugh­ter, after Ben realised she was in trou­ble after notic­ing douchebag Daniel walk­ing away form the scene in a daze.

San Andreas 1

Remem­ber when I said we should have sym­pa­thy for soon-​to-​be-​stepdad because he almost dies? I take it back. The guy is just a douche. He ruth­lessly throws a guy who was hold­ing on to a pil­lar to keep him­self safe from the earth­quake, into the mêlée in the street dur­ing a sec­ond erup­tion, so he (Daniel) can use the pil­lar as his own safety net. But no wor­ries, karma even­tu­ally caught up with Daniel dies a death suit­able for a douchebag.

3rd thing I learnt: Under the table, door posts, pil­lars and any­thing sturdy are safe places to be and things to hold onto dur­ing an earth­quake (although this one didn’t stick as I promptly bolted out­side when Bar­ba­dos had a tremor a few weeks after I watched the movie).

Fol­low­ing the earth­quake a tsunami hits and per­sons run hel­ter skel­ter try­ing to avoid it (4th thing: it is most def­i­nitely point­less to attempt to out­run a tsunami). Ray and Emma move heaven on earth to find Blake and they even­tu­ally do. She, Ben and Colin are tak­ing cover in one of Daniel’s archi­tec­tural mas­ter­pieces (oh the irony).

5th thing: Dur­ing a tsunami or upon warn­ing of an incom­ing tsunami, always try to make it to high(er) ground.

How­ever, before they can be reunited the build­ing col­lapses fur­ther into the water, lead­ing to Blake get­ting trapped. She is trapped under­wa­ter for what seems like 5 min­utes, and resigned to dying the same death as her sis­ter all those years ear­lier decides to give up and falls uncon­scious. Ray, not resigned to los­ing another daugh­ter the same way as the pre­vi­ous, tries all he can to get her out. He even­tu­ally does but she isn’t breath­ing. Before he has the chance to per­form CPR prop­erly, he Ben and Collin realise it isn’t safe in the build­ing and Emma uses the speed­boat they used to get to Blake to get them all out. Then, Ray per­forms CPR on Blake repeat­edly. This scene was very mov­ing, as Ben, Ollie, and Emma gave up on Blake being resus­ci­tated, but Ray kept try­ing and she even­tu­ally wakes up.

6th thing I learnt: Hav­ing your brain deprived of oxy­gen and lungs filled with water for sev­eral min­utes isn’t as life threat­en­ing as orig­i­nally thought.

San Andreas 2

Over­all it was a pretty decent movie, more than a lit­tle pre­dictable and cheesy at times, but it was a good watch, espe­cially pro­vid­ing some use­ful tips on what should be done dur­ing an earth­quake or a tsunami (hold on to some­thing sturdy, get to higher ground some­how) many crit­ics of the movie stated that the mag­ni­tude of the quake should have cause much more dam­age than it did and maybe for the tech­ni­cal folks that may be an issue but it wasn’t for me. I enjoyed the back story of the fam­ily and I also par­tic­u­larly enjoyed the tough­ness of the daugh­ter in the film who learned a few tricks from her father about safety in nat­ural disasters.

How­ever, while I am a sucker for happy end­ings in films, I think how this show ended with the daugh­ter being res­ur­rected like Lazarus was a bit over the top and unre­al­is­tic. Ok, we get the producer’s play on irony by putting daugh­ter #2 in a sim­i­lar if not the same posi­tion that killed daugh­ter #1. We get that the father had to over­come his demons and guilt over not being able to save daugh­ter #1 to save daugh­ter # 2 but really, really? No one would have and should have a 1) sur­vived being under­wa­ter for so long 2) sur­vived with­out air to the lungs and blood to the brain and if 1 and 2 by some mir­a­cle of God did hap­pen the per­son would have had some form of brain dam­age, none of which occurred.

Despite this, San Andreas is def­i­nitely a movie that I would rec­om­mend for any­one. The main plot is undoubt­edly about nat­ural dis­as­ters and we can learn use­ful sur­vival tips from it, but I believe the movie is equally about a family’s jour­ney from over­com­ing a past tragedy to avert another and find­ing their way back together.

Movie Rat­ing: 710

© Arti­cle of Caribbean Dreams Mag­a­zine
© Photo 1 from imdb​.com
© Photo 2 from
© Photo 3 from inde​pen​dent​.co​.uk

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