Driving along the steep canyons in the San Francisco valley, sixteen miles outside of Los Angeles limits, a young girl, Natalie (Morgan Griffin), loses control of her car and swerves off the road. Natalie still alive at the moment the LAFD arrives by helicopter, Ray (Dwayne Johnson) known for an extreme amount of rescues does everything in his powers with his small crew and a television journalist, Serena (Archie Panjabi), on flight for a ride along to save the girls life.
Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and Dr. Kim Park (Will Yun Lee) from Caltech are studying some small tremors located outside the fault line more towards Las Vegas. Lawrence an expert in earthquakes knows that it’s just a matter of time before the big one hits the west coast. Both men travel to study the seismic occurrences out along the Hoover Dam but what they find is not even close to what they expected to experience.
Meanwhile Ray finds out that not only has he received divorce papers from his wife Emma (Carla Gugino) but also that his daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) will be moving in with her mother and her new boyfriend Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd). Later on in the day Blake is flying off to San Francisco with Daniel who has a meeting to take care of and while waiting in the lobby of a high rise building she meets Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) who happens to be there waiting for an interview with Daniels company. Ben brought his little brother Ollie (Art Parkinson) with him and quite the character he is he tries effectively to hook up Blake and Ben for a date.
Emma is still in Los Angles and has just met up with Daniels ex-wife Susan (Kylie Minogue) to discuss some grievances with her being with Daniel. Suddenly the phone rings and Ray is calling Emma but it’s not too soon after she takes the call when all hell breaks loose and what was once a high rise building has now become a mound of devastation. Luckily Ray knows where Emma is and he and his helicopter are off to try and rescue her before it’s too late. No cell phones, no electricity, and death and destruction everywhere the worst is yet to come as the earthquakes become longer and stronger along the San Andreas fault line heading all the way straight up to San Francisco causing the worst earthquake in history.
Millions of people are fleeing for their lives, high rise buildings are reduced to rubble and the death and destruction seems to never stop. Ray and Emma have one thought and that is to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only remaining daughter since not too long ago they lost their youngest while on a river raft expedition. The trip is not easy since all of the way the fault line has made it virtually impossible to get there by car. Thankfully for Blake the two young men she met earlier became her savior as she to them as well. It’s not until the tsunami hits the coast that the search for Blake gets even more difficult and the chances of her still being alive are slim to none. In the end without trying to give too much away the sun will shine, lives will be lost but as an American way of thinking the remaining survivors will once again rebuild but hopefully this time better prepared for the unexpected.
This film was awesome. I walked in with high expectations and thankfully I was not disappointed at all. Even though summer is not here yet, this film should be a blockbuster, hanging on until that first day it officially becomes summer. I mean there are some cliché moments, one or two cheesy scenes and a line or two out of place but first off who cares, this is an action film first and foremost out to take you on a jaw dropping rollercoaster ride and it succeeds. For the most part the direction is superb and the writing although not huge on dialogue is more than good even with some comedic moments thrown in but overall the special effects in 3D are just unforgettable and will hands down be part of my DVD collection. Heck I would sit through it again right now in the theater to catch some of the moments I may have missed. No complaints at all really since I loved this film from beginning to end. At times I felt like my heart was in my throat due to the intensity of several scenes.
A hat off to Dwayne Johnson he is truly a rock in this film and the emotions he pulls out while in those tender moments is downright perfect. Gugino overall is impressive but not as perfect as Johnson. Daddario was a good cast choice but there were a few moments here and there that I would have preferred a bit more emotions from her. Grufford was well cast as the coward that sprung from wealth, Panjabi is a sidekick and deservedly so. Giamatti comes off believable helping to move the thrilling story line along. Johnstone-Burt and Parkinson were a great brother team as they added intensity to survive the destruction alongside Daddario’s character. I’m a big fan of Minogue and her music so it was good to see her even though it’s a small part. Maybe you can spot some bad extras or supporting actors in the film but with all the devastation happening throughout this story I doubt you will. I did see a bit of product placement in the film and at least one dog. Albeit I absolutely loved this film and have to give it 3.5 paws out of 4 by Jon Patch.