Action, Adventure

Chesterfield. Shake, rattle and roll when Los Angeles and San Francisco bite the dust in SAN ANDREAS which stars a 9.6 earthquake that takes out most of California. In its aftermath, an Los Angeles Fire Department rescue-chopper pilot, Ray Gaines, played by Dwayne Johnson and his estranged wife, Emma, played by Carla Gugino, make a dangerous journey across the state to rescue their daughter, Blake, played by Alexandra Daddarlo who is in San Francisco.

Paul Giamatti is Dr. Lawrence, a Cal Tech seismologist, and two cute young men, Hugo Johnston-Burt and Art Parkinson round out the cast of San Andreas as brothers Ben and Ollie . I predict you will see much more of the three younger cast members who stole the show in this formulaic disaster film.

The special effects are awesome in this action packed film that keeps you on the edge of your seat especially if you view the film in 3-D (which I did and which I recommend.) The only problem is that the search effort fails to suspend our disbelief. The Rock and his wife survive a tsunami in a little boat and are able to troll all around fallen buildings and debris without shearing a pin on their boat motor; then, within hours of landing in San Francisco, Ray and Emma, are able to locate their daughter almost immediately. Really? I don’t think so.

The screenplay was written by Carlton Cuse and the story was by Andre Fabrizio. Brad Peyton who directed SAN ANDREAS, has worked with Dwayne Johnson before in JOURNEY 2; MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and JOURNEY 3; FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

When I polled the audience, at Wehrenberg’s Galaxy 14 in Chesterfield Tuesday night, most loved the action but felt that it wasn’t too realistic and was very predictable but most disaster films are. One woman with three young daughters said that her girls were shaking with the quake but they thought it was exciting and screamed in all the right places. Several said they liked the film and would recommend it. So, if you are looking for a fun, simple action film that will keep you all shook up, go see SAN ANDRES this weekend and be sure to see it in 3-D.

SAN ANDREAS opens today at AMC Eastgate Showplace 6 and AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12.

The Telegraph’s contributing movie critic Mary Cox lives in Wood River and is a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Association, who also occasionally writes about film-related topics, studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals. She can be reached at