The trailers for San Andreas pretty much show what you can expect from the movie: an almost two-hour-long highlight reel of spectacular earthquake special effects, strung together by a pretty thin plot. If ever there was a movie made to be enjoyed with popcorn, this is it.
Ray Gaines (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is a rescue helicopter pilot who has to rescue his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) and daughter (Alexandra Daddario) when the quakes hit. Obviously, every disaster movie needs a scientist to explain what's happening; this one has Paul Giamatti, who does his job well.
There are some - thankfully not many - groan-worthy lines of dialogue where you just want the characters to shut up so you can watch more disaster footage. Supposedly emotional parts that should make you care for the characters generally don't work.
But the movie offers plenty of thrills, particularly in the final sequence set inside an unfinished skyscraper - not a spoiler because, again, it's in the trailer.
Maybe the main reason to watch this film is for The Rock, and his imposing presence on screen; he delivers his lines with such sincerity that you just have to respect him. At one point, he says, "Excuse me, sir, but if you don't mind me asking, where'd you get that hat?" and it's the best scene in the whole movie.