It’s been a while since we had a really good disaster movie. Roland Emmerich was the last guy to really push the genre forward, but after freezing and then destroying the entire planet (in The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, respectively) there’s not really a lot of ground left to cover (and demolish). Next summer’s San Andreas will attempt to revive the disaster movie by juicing up an old favorite: the earthquake. This version, directed by Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’s Brad Peyton, features a tremor so huge it encompasses all of California from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It’s so big, Paul Giamatti gravely intones, it can even be felt on the East Coast. That’s a big quake.
Our only hope is Dwayne Johnson, whose muscles are so big, I guess, that he can pretty much just wedge himself in the San Andreas fault and cushion all the shaking and cracking. (I haven’t read the script, mind you, this is just a prediction.) Most of the footage in the trailer suggests the film is comprised largely of Johnson flying around in a helicopter, looking at earthquake special effects, plus sad cover versions of classic California tunes.
Reader, I am torn. I’m not a huge disaster movie fan, but I do love me some The Rock action movies. But I also prefer a more tongue-in-cheek Dwayne Johnson, the guy who can bounce 3D berries off his pecs in between fight scenes. It’s hard to work those kind of jokes into a movie where buildings are collapsing and millions of people are dying. San Andreas opens on May 29.