During my adolescence – which I affectionately refer to as “The Years Of Confusing Boners” – I was a big fan of wrestling. A BIG fan. I used to watch all the Pay-Per Views and play all the Smackdown! games. I was intensely proud of my created character: an ultimate symbol of the mid-2000s, complete with wavy bright red hair and a vinyl trenchcoat. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was, by far, the idiomatic wrestler of that period of time. Everyone loved him, his epically transformative eyebrows, and his uncanny ability to destroy any opponent with a series of flashy wanderings followed by a weak elbow to the chest.
But, like all overdrawn celebrities, The Rock soon got sick of his preliminary career and decided to move on to real acting, not just fooling-rednecks acting. The resulting catalogue of “films” has been mixed. One one hand, you’ve got pieces of shit like Welcome To The Jungle and The Scorpion King (which I vividly remember watching just to see how many wrestling moves he would do; I think there was about two), but then there’s films like the Fast & The Furious series, i.e the best thing to happen involving pink cars and muscles this side of that Herbie The Love Bug porno I watched one time.
But The Rock’s career has been hanging in the balance in recent years, with various swings back and forth between the roided-up world of profesisonal wrestling and half-arsed attempts at continuing his acting career (Fast & The Furious being the obvious exception). The newest collection to this cadre is San Andreas, a movie that’s sadly not actually based on GTA: San Andreas.
Watch that trailer. Watch it all. Absorb it’s majesty. Feast your eyes on its CGI, which totally isn’t basically the same fucking thing from the last 20 Hollywood disaster movies. Observe the opening shots of a helicopter and the LA skyline, because that’s totally not a tired use of stock footage. Gaze upon the Rock’s ripplig physique, as he sighs in LA traffic just like a regular LA dad, his oversized aviators hiding the obvious shame in his eyes.
So, in a nutshell, it seems this movie is about a big strong man who has recently separated from his wife, inexplicably leaving her the gigantic mansion he owns in the LA hills, saving his daughter from an earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. So basically it’s Taken, but instead of an international crime syndicate it’s a natural disaster.
“W H O W I L L Y O U B E W I T H W H E N E V E R Y T H I N G F A L L S A P A R T”, the trailer inquisitively asks you. No question marks, because question marks are an outdated form of inflection, and the average movie goer doesn’t have time to flavour his/her statements with inflection! This is 2014, dammit! There’s Krispy Kreme burgers to eat and Google Glasses to wear! I need my information plastered onto my eyeballs in bold impact font, without any punctuation, because squiggly lines and perfunctory questions are the tools of the DEVIL and JOB-TAKING FOREIGNERS.
But wait, there needs to be some sort of emotional peak as the close-up of a helicopter rescue man latches on to the hand of a poor, miserable victim of… something. But what to include? How about a chorus slowly drawling their way through California Dreaming! Get it? Because it’s California! I’m sure that’s exactly what The Mamas & The Papas were thinking about when they wrote that song: a cataclysmic event that would wipe out the mentioned city, neatly detailed in a film-length, heavily-edited CGI fest featuring a Samoan professional wrestler. Either that, or it could all be an elaborate joke about Mama Cass’ weight issues, but who knows.
What’s that? The HOLLYWOOD sign is collapsing? Oh my god! That’s definitely never been done before. It’s also not a totally ironic reference to the gradual decline of the industry.
Probably the biggest punch in the face is the not one, but two hashtags unceremoniously plopped on the screen at the end. “Join us,” they seem to say. “We know you’re hard-wired into the media sphere these days, and this pile of garbage exists because it’s exactly the kind of mind-numbing screen-filler you eat up. Join us, because this is all your fault.”