deconstructing trailers: SAN ANDREAS

Finally, an action hero that makes sense within these ridiculous disaster movie scenarios.

Rather than a limo driver like the Roland Emmerich directed 2012, our hero in SAN ANDREAS is a rescue worker. And to make even more sense, our action hero is THE ROCK (Dwayne Johnson).

This film will not be confined to the ground, and the relief efforts on the streets. To ramp up the intensity our hero, Johnson, portrays a helicopter rescue worker.

Good, because after this earthquake I have a feeling those roads are gonna be closed.

So with SAN ANDREAS we have a great character to focus the story on. His motives are relatable, he’s easy to root for, and we can imagine ourselves in the same scenario.

The Rock just wants to rescue his family – his wife (CARLA GUGINO) and his smoking hot college student daughter (ALEXANDRA DADDARIO).

The disaster sequences look, um… disaster-rific. The scale of these moments is purely epic. We are already guaranteed a giant wave dwarving the Golden Gate Bridge, and an earthquake ginormous enough that the East Coast will feel the effects.

Sign me up. This will be one crazy escape after another with high stakes and tons of urgency. SAN ANDREAS is basically a chase film filled with obstacles.

Sure, it’s a simple formula, but if its executed well this could be a great surprise blockbuster this summer.

The trailer also gives me hope for style. And I’m not just talking about the camera-work and special effects. I’m talking about the haunting and hypnotic rendition of CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ by Robot Koch & Delhia de France.

This song totally sets the perfect mood. I love atmosphere, and this song was mesmerizing. Part of the power draws from juxtaposition. A serene song coating the images of disaster and destruction. There’s also that whole irony thing working for it too, right.

I’m not a fan of a lot of those other disaster movies, mainly because I didn’t care about the characters, or the story just got too ridiculous. I think if you’re along for the ride you can accept anything Hollywood throws on the screen. I’m thinking of stuff like MARVEL movies.

I hope this adventure borrows more from Spielberg, and less from Emmerich.

I like that we have a family relationship fueling the action and adventure. Daddario has an intense sequence with her father (Johnson). It looks like they are caught in rubble – which is quickly flooding.

This is a familiar scene, but there is a reason for this particular cliché. It works. I think we will enjoy one heart-pumping action set-piece after the other.

I just hope the set-up carries enough weight to bring gravity to this family dynamic.

The surprise highlight of this new trailer was with Gugino. She ascends the stairs during the initial earhtquake. The camera stays behind her. She approaches the roof exit door. The camera stays behind, SEARCHERS style. Then she opens the door, blinded by light, what she sees would terrify even The Duke, John Wayne. Skyscrapers shake from shockwaves. Waves build in the rooftop pool.

This should be an exciting scene when her hubby (The Rock) comes to the rescue.

The scene is perfectly staged. The camera does not go all PETER JACKSON and float through the air just because it can (with all the CGI). This sort of atmospheric staging makes me feel like the audience is in good hands.

SAN ANDREAS promises destruction on the grandest scale. We have clear cut goals, high stakes, urgency, and an easy to relate to protagonist in The Rock. 


What do you think… Leave a comment below….

You might remember ALEXANDRA DADDARIO from her appearance on TRUE DETECTIVE… Or now you do 😉

TWEET TWEET @slipthroughnerd

38 thoughts on “deconstructing trailers: SAN ANDREAS

  1. The trailer is fun for sure. You make some funny points. I love your idea on this site. I wrote a review of this moive and while it was “fun” it was lacking a lot but it if filled with way too many incredibly beautiful people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comments… I just saw San Andreas recently. It was definitely fun. And it also had good characters for a disaster movie. Better than 2012 or Day After Tomorrow.

      It was also surprising to have emotion in an action flick like this. Jurassic World should take notes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, there was a lot to love about San Andreas, but it was mired in its own contrivance and couldn’t escape the tropes of disaster movies. I was frustrated by the end of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Logic tumbles and crumbles away like a city skyscraper. Dwane Johnson is a fun guy to watch on the big screen though and I liked a few of him more grounded, human, moments.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. So you’re saying you’re like that philosophical theory of give enough chimps enough time at a typewriter and they’ll eventually write “good movie review prose” 😉 I can dig it. Hahah, jokes, buddy.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I totally got it. That could be your That Moment In guest writer name! You could write regularly. Heck make your own format. I’m rambling. I do that.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. So 80s flicks are okay for your Daily Dose article series. Is R-rated okay?

        Example, if I wanted to shine a light on Return Of The Living Dead could it have adult images? Cuz… boobs. Oh and blood.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. If you like the experience of writing for us I’d be glad to seriously offer you a permanent guest writer spot. I like your writing style. It’s a nice fit. Think about it. And I will support your site as well naturally.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I’d love to. It sounds like an excellent offer, Dave. I’m really appreciative of your compliments too. I get a sense we are of like minds.

        I’ll put on my thinking cap. These big chimp ears always get in the way.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Go for it. As soon as you want. If this is a one-time shot, the deadline is up to you. If you want to be a contributing write, set up a schedule that works for you. Weekly, bi-weekly, whatever you wish. be sure to end your posts with a plug to your own site as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Well there’s no question there Dan. I’ve read your work. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with for this. Send me the post via email and then if you decide to go weekly I give you access to the site.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Ha, fair point. I’ll give a pass to those boobs. I have no problems with boobs. Love ’em. Need ’em. Crave ;em. But I want to keep a certain degree of class to the site. Boobs are ubiquitous everywhere else.

        Liked by 1 person

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