Movie Review: San Andreas -- Rumble. Tumble. Yawn.

05/27/2015 08:07 am ET | Updated May 27, 2016


"San Andreas"? I thought we critics drove a stake through this film's heart when it came out 40 years ago under the title "Earthquake."

But each generation of special effects creates its own avalanche of disaster films: movies about disasters that are themselves disastrous.

The latest iteration of cutting-edge computer effects means we can watch explicit depictions of Los Angeles and San Francisco crumbling from an unprecedented temblor in more graphic detail than ever, while Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tries to save his ex-wife (Carla Gugino) and daughter (Alexandra Daddario). It's like an elaborate first-person video-game that you spend two hours watching someone else play. 

By the way, that's almost the entire plot of this listless, heaving mess of a film. In essence, this film doesn't need a director, which is fortunate because it has Brad Peyton. 

Based on his work on such films as "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" and "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," Peyton is less a filmmaker than a mechanic, who is handed what amounts to a multi-million-dollar kit, like a model airplane only much larger. He looks at the label ("action -adventure"), then follows the diagram and hammers it together, before he moves on to the next kit on the assembly line. This isn't a movie; it's a manufactured product.

This review continues on my website.