pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his
Whilst Roland Emmerich is busy coming up with crappy names for new Independence Day movies, big-budget-disastering seems to be in safe hands with Brad Peyton for the time being. For the second time in a day, San Francisco is the locale in question, but this time, events are a little more groundbreaking (pun intended) than the trials and tribulations of one little animated girl.
Starring Dwayne Johnson as a true blue American hero with biceps bigger than Kylie Minogue’s head, but retaining a heart that yearns to be reunited with his ex-wife (Gugino) in several scenes that go to some lengths to prove that he is indeed an all-round good guy, this really is big league action and adventure.
As Paul Giamatti states in a quite matter-of-fact way early on, big earthquakes tend to happen every 150 years or so in California, and this one was one hundred years overdue. And as he continues, it’s not really matter of if, but more of when, it happens again.
So wouldn’t you know, as luck would have it (for the purposes of cgi big bang lovers everywhere) along comes the quake to end all quakes. A cataclysmic seismic level event of gargantuan proportions. It’s as if Peyton thought ‘well, if we’re going to do it at all, then we might as well do this properly.’ And so then this happened.
Named after the now notorious fault line in California where two tectonic plates are continually rubbing each up the wrong way, Peyton really has thrown the kitchen sink (along with practically everything else) at this behemoth of a blockbuster that clearly saw Day After Tomorrow a couple of times and thought, ‘right then…’, before gleefully rubbing its hands together and striding purposefully forward laying waste to everything in its path, just because it could.
Like the proverbial bull in the china shop, there is not exactly buckets of subtlety on offer here as you would expect. This is large, loud and might just rattle your fillings and make your gooleys tingle if you let it. In short, its little more than a succession of city-flattening emergencies that helicopter pilot (bit of luck, eh) Johnson has to try and cope with. Largely, he fails, choosing to spend all of his time, skills and resources on just saving his ex-wife and daughter. True blue hero after all then? You can’t accuse him of not loving his family, a fact alluded to more than once in a ham-fisted cliched fashion that might just make the more sophisticated viewer gnaw cringingly on their own knuckles. Through what little plot is offered, we do learn that he has lost a daughter already, unable to save her during an accident, and has blamed himself ever since, hence the reason for the breakdown of his marriage.
All of this is back burner content however, and is only really dragged to the fore when Peyton felt like he was maybe overdoing it on the ‘buildings falling down’ quotient. This wasn’t often and quite honestly, whilst I really like Johnson, he arguably would have difficulty convincing us of a prolonged stint at proper acting, so Peyton ensures Johnson’s lines are mostly short and to the point. It’s not Arnie in Terminator 2 or anything, but still, you get the gist.
In all, a supremely entertaining experience, with vast ambition and non-stop excitement. Go for the bangs and whistles and you will be very happy you bothered to turn up.