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SAN ANDREAS[...]; SAN ANDREAS (12A) Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Ioan Gruffudd, Paul Giamatti, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Archie Panjabi, Will Yun Lee, Kylie Minogue Director: Brad Peyton. Duration: 114 mins.

IN the closing moments of the computer effects-heavy disaster movie San Andreas, a tattered Stars And Stripes unfurls proudly on what remains of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

It's the final, heavy-handed image of undaunted patriotism in a clicheladen battle between puny mankind and mighty Mother Nature on the west coast of America.

Recent events in Nepal are still fresh in the mind as director Brad Peyton reduces cities to twisted rubble with a series of recordbreaking earthquakes. Any discomfiting shivers of real-life tragedy are quickly dispelled by the hoary dialogue in Carlton Cuse's script and increasingly outrageous action sequences.

The best examples of the disaster genre, including The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno and Titanic, balance spectacle with human drama, recognising that audiences need to feel emotionally attached to stricken characters.

Screenwriter Cuse short-changes us here, hastily sketching a fractured family that is destined to reunite in the eye of the storm.

That rebuilding of bridges is best summed up by one scientist's blunt assessment of impending doom: "It isn't a matter of if, it's a matter of when."

The San Andreas Fault, which runs for more than 800 miles through California, gives way, triggering a magnitude nine earthquake.

Search and rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) hunts for survivors including his estranged wife Emma (Carla Gugino), who has filed for divorce.

Reunited in tragedy, Ray and Emma head to San Francisco to save their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who has joined forces with a handsome Brit called Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and his 11-year-old brother Ollie (Art Parkinson) to survive.

Just when it seems the worst is over for the Gaines family, a doomsaying professor (Paul Giamatti) at California Institute of Technology predicts a bigger earthquake and a massive tsunami from which there will be no escape.



Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino can't rescue this movie

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:May 29, 2015
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