Where it fails is in all the usual areas – pointless plot, cheesy dialogue, plus the occasional cliched moment like when Ray tells Emma decisively, as they team up together to find their lost offspring: “We’re going to get our daughter”, as well as the one line I should’ve put a bet on at the bookies beforehand for being included – when everyone surveys the calamity, someone will say in answer to what to do next – “We rebuild!” Extra cliche points are added to that scene when an American flag unfurls in full as a sole surviving symbol of what just happened. Still, I figured nonsense like that was going to happen and I just went for the action. And it delivered.
While Ray and Emma play ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles‘ (well, helicopter, car and boat), the rest of the cast was filled out by Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt), who’s applying for a job at Riddick’s engineering firm, and his little brother, Ollie (Art Parkinson), both born with silver spoons in their mouths and equally annoying in measure. And there’s also the delightful Archie Panjabi as newshound Serena, plus Kylie Minogue – apparently she was Riddick’s ex-wife, Susan. Since she was in it for such a short time, who knew?
I went to see San Andreas in 2D and I’d advise to see it in that format because, while it was shot in 3D, anything involving the special effects is all down to basic perspective, and when things are rushing past the screen, like torrents of water, there’s no discernable depth to get stuck into anyway.
And then, I had reason to complain – which I do by email so I have a written record of it, which is something I’d had to complain about before, but despite getting an apology at the time, it’s clear that no-one’s listening as it continues to happen.
As the end credits began, and Sia‘s cover of California Dreamin' began to blare out of the speakers, everything was fine for a while, then someone decided to switch on the lights so they turned the screen a nuclear winter shade of white, completely destroying the atmosphere – as I saw the end credits are displayed on a Seismograph with the effect running up the left-hand side of the screen (soon shone out of existence!) and killing my enjoyment of a great song.
When I’ve complained about this precise same thing happening before, I’ve been given the excuse that it’s to allow people to see where they’re going when they leave, yet:
- (a) Everyone else had already left by this point except me, and
(b) I can see that they have two sets of lights – one which are minor ones which come on, allowing people to find their way out, and the others which light up the entire room and stop you being able to reach much of what remains on the screen, which is what happened during this screening.
I also know that there’s a difference between the two sets of lights in the room because I was sat in the very same seat in screen 14 for The Gunman, a few weeks back, and I was able to enjoy the end credit music perfectly fine, unlike this time where I was made to feel like a problem for still being there.
I’ve already had one lame response from them, and I’m about to reply to it, but I’ll report back when I’ve got something for you to get stuck into.
Running time: 114 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros
Format: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
Released: May 28th 2015
Director: Brad Peyton
Producer: Beau Flynn
Screenplay: Carlton Cuse (based on a story by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore)
Music: Andrew Lockington
Ray: Dwayne Johnson
Emma: Carla Gugino
Blake: Alexandra Daddario
Daniel Riddick: Ioan Gruffudd
Serena: Archie Panjabi
Lawrence: Paul Giamatti
Ben: Hugo Johnstone-Burt
Ollie: Art Parkinson
Dr Kim Park: Will Yun Lee
Susan Riddick: Kylie Minogue
Joby: Colton Haynes
Marcus: Todd Williams
Harrison: Matt Gerald
Alexi: Alec Utgoff
Phoebe: Marissa Neitling
Natalie: Morgan Griffin
Larissa: Breanne Hill
Elgin: Laurence Coy
Margie: Fiona Press
Herb: Dennis Coard
Dylan: Ben McIvor
Preppy: Nick Allen-Ducat
Glasses: Claire Lovering
Ponytail: Sophia Emberson-Bain
Stoner: Julian Shaw
Refugee Camp Reporter: Sofie Formica
Daniel Reddick’s Assistant: Hugh Francis
Riddick Building Security Guard: Brad McMurray
Daniel Riddick’s Driver: John Reynolds
Kim Swann: Simone Kessell
Jenny Swann: Saskia Williscroft
Mallory: Arabella Morton
Riddick Female Assistant: Hayley Sullivan
Female Flight Attendant: Renee Somerfield
Man in Parking Garage: Joey Vieira
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.