San Andreas – where we saw a Rock swim not sink

San_Andreas_posterBeing a lovely Friday night, I went out with my bestie to see San Andreas (not GTA, the rift). I was not expecting such a good movie!! The animation was a bit flaky at the start when a car drops off a cliff (looks like a toy car in a toy cliff) – and some of the helicopter sequences looked like they were filmed with a toy helicopter – but these are my only two bad points.

The CGI in the movie outdoes “2012” and “The day after tomorrow” by a long shot! And the Rock is soooo sweet! 🙂 And for the first time in a long time we don’t get to see annoying kids in a movie about survival (if you have seen “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and even “World War Z” – you know there is always a kid who ruins the action).

The movie starts from the premise that the San Andreas Fault is becoming active again after “being overdue in the last 100 years”. This means, large scale earthquakes are happening in rapid succession due to tectonic plate movements.
Hollywood has decided to go “wall-to-wall” and depict a rupture of the entire San Andreas Fault, which extends from near the Mexican border to almost Oregon. In reality, this has not been seen before, and although nothing is ruled impossible, this is a highly unlikely scenario given the past records of both historic and paleo-earthquakes. And, based on this history, the magnitude would be closer to magnitude 8.3, not magnitude 9.6.

The hero of the story is a rescue pilot who manages to save his soon to be ex wife and then his daughter. By the end of the movie, his  soon-to-be ex wife is back to his wife status as he ditches Mister Fantastic 4 who shows loads of villainous traits and flaws of character in 15min of screen time and makes me wonder how she got with him in the first place!

The Rock’s movie daughter is absolutely stunning looking – with those massive blue eyes and the rocking body! I think I have a fem crush again since Kate Upton. And she does not play a stupid female lead. She takes charge, is quick to think of solutions and is by all definitions “Daddy’s Girl”. Well impressed!

Alexandra Daddario just landed the female lead opposite Dwayne Johnson on San Andreas, which New Line hopes will be its next big tentpole.

Alexandra Daddario just landed the female lead opposite Dwayne Johnson on San Andreas, which New Line hopes will be its next big tentpole.

As the quakes hit and people start dying, I could not help but exclaim “Wow!” and “OH MY GOOOOD!” most of the time as jaw-dropping special effects turned America’s worst nightmare into a visual “what would happen if” scenario.

If you have seen Discovery Channel’s disaster series, the earthquake and follow-up tsunami was explained in detail but this takes it to a whole new level!
And the fact that the movie takes time to explain what to do in case of an earthquake has given it enough cookie points for a 10/10 IMDB rating.

I did a bit of research on the accuracy of the facts from the movie and while experts argue on the intensity of a possible quake, they agree that the impact on the population would be immense.

“Whatever the scientific flaws of San Andreas, and they are plenty, the consequences of a large urban earthquake with up to billions of dollars of damage and thousands of deaths remain unnerving.”
Separating five facts from earthquake fiction in “San Andreas,” the movie

The magnitude of an earthquake is related to the area of the fault on which it occurs – the larger the fault area, the larger the earthquake. The San Andreas Fault is 800 miles long and only about 10-12 miles deep, so that earthquakes larger than magnitude 8.3 are extremely unlikely.
Earthquake Facts & Earthquake Fantasy

Fault Zone forms the boundary between two tectonic plates that are moving in a lateral (side-to-side) motion past one another. The east side of the fault is moving south and the west side is moving north. When the plates grind past one another suddenly, the rapid overcoming of the plate friction is what causes the earthquake. If a
chasm or rift were created by the pulling apart of the plates, there would be no friction and, thus, no earthquake.

NATURAL RESOURCES AGENCY, Teresa Schilling/Don Drysdale – A `Geo-Logical’ Review of the Upcoming Movie `San Andreas’

On a side note, this movie is not the only one of its kind. About a year ago I watched a movie (series) called Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 which follows the lives of two children affected by a magnitude 8 earthquake in the overpopulated city of Tokyo:

Written by theFerkel