Big-budget Hollywood movies may be dominated by superheroes these days, but that doesn't mean the studios are abandoning some of their tried and true genres. Case in point: this May's San Andreas, which pits the charismatic Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson against the fabled "Big One" feared by every native Californian: an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale caused by the infamous San Andreas fault finally splitting in two.
Directed by Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which also starred The Rock) and counting Carlton Cuse (Lost, The Bates Motel) and The Conjuring's Chad and Carey Hayes among its several screenwriters, San Andreas stars Johnson as a rescue chopper pilot who races across the Golden State to save his daughter, played by Alexandra Daddario (True Detective).
The movie's first trailer played up the story's road-trip aspect - The Rock races against time to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco - while playing up some arresting visuals, such as the L.A. cityscape bucking and roiling as the Big One rips the place apart.
We've already seen this imagery of a crumbling Hoover Dam, but the focus of this teaser could hint at what the next trailer will hone in on. Our first look at San Andreas took on a somber tone and highlighted some of the film's more dramatic dimensions... but if audiences are expected to shell out good money for an earthquake movie, it had better deliver on a grand scale.
And judging from what we've already seen, San Andreas will do just that. While 2014 featured a disaster movie set in San Francisco starring a famous monster (Godzilla), previous years have given us similar flicks which generally veer from far-fetched (Roland Emmerich's 2012) to the merely goofy (1997's Volcano with Tommy Lee Jones).
Still, from the first trailer's impassioned plea from Paul Giamatti for (apparently) everyone in California to clear out to the Rock's pained expression as he surveys the destruction, San Andreas seems to be going for something a little deeper than crumbling buildings and massive casualties.
Will San Andreas manage to balance gratuitous, large-scale imagery with a grounded, realistic dramatic story? Do you really care? Will you side with Warren Zevon on the subject? Gives us your views on the San Andreas trailer teaser in the comments below!
San Andreas will be released in theaters on May 29, 2015.
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