Friday, 29 May 2015

REVIEW - SAN ANDREAS (BRAD PEYTON)


The problem with honest ambition can be that, in the wrong hands, you can end up with films like San Andreas as a result of it. That's not categorically a bad thing - ambition almost always pays off to one extent or another - but it is categorically never an entirely good thing. You could comment exactly the same about this film, which is supremely enjoyable, but not necessarily for the best reasons. The filmmakers aspire toward silly spectacle, and a throwback disaster movie vibe that's just about out-of-vogue enough to make it current again, in the cyclical passage of artistic trends. The only artistry on display in San Andreas is crass and perverse, though luckily that's all this film requires: the first hour's escalating surge of natural disasters on an outrageous scale (and, to a degree, into the second hour) is fantastically good fun, sprinkled with little sequences here and there of bombastic imagery and tremendous tension. This being an entirely conventional Hollywood blockbuster (studio Warner Bros. has just released Mad Max: Fury Roadthe exact opposite in those terms, so forgive them this minor regression), the film is also sprinkled with moments of sweetness and levity, because nothing better represents the destruction of an entire coastline and the deaths of many thousands of people than a bit of a lol! As the lols begin to accumulate, San Andreas loses its purpose, and succumbs to its generic structure in a manner that's only fitfully entertaining, and again you query whether or not you're enjoying it for the best reasons - the film is so naive as not to heed such meagre concerns as quality or integrity. But to what purpose could these concerns be, when we could expend our energy on watching an earthquake level the Hoover Dam, or The Rock riding a glorified dinghy over the crest of a tsunami? Or on Queen Kylie Minogue playing the bitch, quoting her own song titles with facial expressions as pinched as all that Botox will allow? An extra star for Kylie? Could it be so? Of course it could! IT'S KYLIE MINOGUE!!!!!1!1!!!!!1!