San Andreas Shakes Theaters

Category: Movies

sanandreasDwayne Johnson stars alongside Carla Gugino and Alexandra Daddario in the new action packed film San Andreas. Johnson plays Ray, a Los Angeles Fire Department rescue pilot with Gugino as his soon-to-be ex-wife Emma and Daddario as his daughter Blake. This is just as much a film about family as it is about the big earthquake.


First of all, let’s state upfront that the film is purely fiction. This is a thriller with nonstop action from the beginning to the end. When major earthquakes shake Nevada then rip open the San Andreas Fault in California, dams burst, buildings topple like dominoes, and chaos erupts. Yes, it is frightening to think of this happening. And yes, California is overdue for a major earthquake. But Lucy Jones, U.S. Geological Survey seismologist maintains that a quake this large with this much damage just isn’t possible on the San Andreas Fault.


During the premier of the film, Jones live-tweeted her comments about what was happening on the screen. “San Andreas the movie pretends that California has a subduction zone. We can only have a M (magnitude) 8.2.”  In the film the quake is well into the magnitude 9 levels. Jones continued to tweet. “If seismologists could actually predict EQs, we’d all be much richer. Too bad that part of San Andreas isn’t real…” According to Jones, “The predictions aren’t real but EQ triggering is real. A California EQ M7.3 in 1992 triggered a M5.7 in Nevada the next day.”


In the film the large 9.6 quake in San Francisco triggers a tsunami. Jones reacted by tweeting, “Recognizing water draw down as sign of tsunami is good. However tsunami from San Andreas is impossible. Now we are in fantasy territory.”  The film shows the quakes almost flattening cities. “We expect serious damage to 1 in every 16 buildings in a real San Andreas EQ. The movie damage over the top,” tweeted Jones.


Lucy Jones was happy with the portrayal of Blake as a competent, levelheaded young woman. “Competence makes the girl sexy! That’s a new message I can applaud!”


The bottom line of the film is it is a message to be prepared, no matter where you live. Earthquakes are happening all over the place. According to Jones, the right thing to do in an earthquake is “Drop, cover & hold on.” She added, “Another good tidbit. Landlines work when cellphones are out because of no electricity.”


To prepare for a major earthquake, here are some good tips:

  • Have a family communications plan.
  • Have a landline or make a pact with someone with a landline.
  • Have plenty of batteries and flashlights. Don’t use candles because there might be gas leaks.
  • Keep a kit in your car and your home. The kit should contain at the minimum flashlights, batteries, water, water purification tablets, non-perishable food, an extra pair of glasses, extra prescription medications, hard soled shoes, blanket, bandages and first aid products. There are places to purchase already assembled emergency kits with many of the necessary supplies. At your home you should also have a fire extinguisher, and make sure you have a tool by your gas valve to shut it off.


San Andreas is a fictional film that includes plenty of frightening situations. It is almost like a combination of all the disaster movies – The Poseidon Adventure, Titanic, The Day After Tomorrow, The Towering Inferno, Avalanche, Dante’s Peak, Volcano, etc. It is a thrill ride, but if you take your children make sure they realize it is a work of fiction. With that in mind, it is an entertaining disaster movie.


San Andreas is rated PG-13 for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language.


About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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