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Dwayne Johnson and  Carla Gugino in San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino in San Andreas

Following in the footsteps of many a disaster film San Andreas tells the story of a what-if scenario: what happens when a hunky helicopter pilot is faced with two massive earthquakes and a tsunami, he becomes the hero who saves his daughter and reconciles with his ex-wife.

Like so many disasters movies a little bit of science is needed to set the scene, in this case this job falls to Cal Tech seismologist Lawrence (Paul Giamatti).

He and his team are trying to find a way to predict earthquakes and moments before the Hoover Dam crumbles and falls he discovers that his theory works. He hurries back to his lab, mumbling science gibberish – something about magnetic pulses and mini quakes – to discover that the entire San Andreas vault has lit up predicting that the next “big one” is eminent.

During all of this we meet surly Ray (Dwayne Johnson), who is grieving the loss of his dead daughter, his estranged wife Emma (Carla Gugino) -who has shacked up with multimillionaire developer David (Ioan Gruffudd) – and his stunning daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) who is about to start college.

So who cares about the millions of people who die when buildings fall on top of them or a massive tidal wave drowns them in seconds, as long as hero Ray (Dwayne Johnson) and his family, plus hanger-ons, survive?

As the earth quakes and San Francisco’s skyline falls all around them, Blake teams up with cute, British, twenty-something Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and his know-it all younger brother, Ollie (Art Parkinson) and Ray, in his helicopter, abandons his team and sets out to save his ex and daughter. There is even a short cameo of Kylie Minogue, before she falls off a roof

But sadly there isn’t much originality when it comes to San Andreas, and it stubbornly ignores the scientific advice given by USC earthquake experts to further dramatics. However for a film that unashamedly is based around its massively biceps hero San Andreas doesn’t do a bad job.

All in all San Andreas is a predictable disaster drivel, no surprises and an unrealistic plot. But if you like big bangs, toppling buildings and lots of special effects then you’ll enjoy two hours of explosive CGI fun.

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