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Rated 3.03 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Cut Above
by Richard Jack Smith

Looking for a ride? Hitchhike to your nearest multiplex and catch San Andreas. A film that's large and intimate, delving through perilous scenes without overlooking humanity, director Brad Peyton removes the veil of green screen. When buildings crumble and tidal waves rise, you will the feel the drama. His direction not only surpassed my expectations, it gave the term new meaning.

Like Volcano and 2012, San Andreas represents a cut above. Although we demand top-notch visual effects, equal importance should be paid to character. Given these responsibilities, Peyton makes a huge leap only to emerge triumphant.

For Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the film allows him to be an actor, not just the comedic opportunist. He plays Ray, a search and rescue helicopter pilot compelled to save his loved ones. When the San Andreas fault line destabilizes, a world of calm gives way to chaos.

As Ollie, Art Parkinson delivers the film's greatest one-liner. After successfully procuring a lady's phone number for his older brother, he says to himself, “I can't wait to be twenty!”

The best one can hope for when facing natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis is to stay safe. We cannot count upon Superman to rescue the school bus teetering on the edge. As such, Peyton doesn't shy away from the reality here. People die and it's not nice.

Andrew Lockington's score reflects the danger and global ramifications of what's happening. Armed with a huge orchestra, he writes in such a way that we care about the characters.

I'll tell you one thing: after watching San Andreas, I'm never moving to California.

(Released by Warner Bros. and rated "PG-13" for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong languate.)

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