I just liked the title, it’s not a knock on this movie. San Andreas was actually surprisingly enjoyable. I am biased because as you may know I like when things blow up. Well, the sheer amount of destruction on screen here probably tops 2012 (the movie not the year). Which of course was centred around the Mayan apocalypse. This is just two little states getting smashed, but my god, so much smash!
I go into these movies expecting cliches and this movie has all of them. Including one I could have done without, the scuzzy new boyfriend of the ex of the male lead. And he is super scuzzy, Mr. Fantastic he is not. I felt like he was included just so we could get behind some of the disaster, like maybe if he dies it will be easier to forget the thousands more that are swept away with him. You be the judge I guess. For me, I always just assume everyone else died at the end of these movies, even though they tell us in cliched news footage that most were okay. In San Andreas, it did not seem like anyone except the Rock and his family were walking away at the end. The other CG rag dolls just added to the triumph.
I liked it. Every ludicrous minute. Critics drive me nuts when they give a movie like this a one star review. You know what? This is not Oscar material. We came here to see some shit get torn up. And San Andreas delivers to a fault!!!!
I give it a score of 31,250 atom bombs out of 40,000.
I loved Furious 7 from start to finish. I wasn’t sure at all how it would turn out, or how I would feel about it given Paul Walker’s death, especially since he died in a car crash. But it turned out to be a very sweet tribute to him that felt genuine rather than exploitative.
So we should get this out of the way early: this movie has no real plot. If you described the plot to me next week I would probably struggle to tell you which number was attached to the title (I’m honestly not sure whether I have seen #5, #6, or both). But if you like action or cars or explosions or all of the above, the lack of plot won’t matter one bit. Really, a plot or character development would just slow the movie down, so it works out for the best!
I am being slightly faceteous. There is a thread that ties the movie together from start to finish, and it is the theme of family that the trailers have been good enough to hammer into my head. It really works though as it sets up the ending perfectly. For that reason I would be interested to see what the movie was originally intended to be, because I was truly surprised how seamless the movie is. I was expecting something disjointed as a result of them trying to write out the Brian O’Conner character at the last minute and instead I got a cohesive, thoroughly enjoyable movie with a great ending. I cannot say enough how satisfying it is to get an ending that is true to the characters in the face of the real-world death of one of the stars. It was perfect.
There will inevitably be more of these (#8 at least must be a sure thing) and I kind of wish they would stop. I am sure I will enjoy the next one but these movies were best when they had both Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. Those two were the heart of the franchise and since we will never see that again, I suspect the instalments to come will feel a little bit empty. But I can’t blame anyone for keeping the franchise going, and looking back it is a complete mystery how it has survived for seven movies (#2 and #3 were the weak links, and the series probably should have died there). Not coincidentally, those weak ones are the only two that Paul and Vin do not both appear in. So that does not bode well, but if this indeed the end of the franchise as we know it, it is a glorious finish.