I made a big mistake last night. I knew I had to get up early this morning and set my alarm and then decided to sleep the whole night in the recliner. Instead of turning on Frasier to put me to sleep, as I usually do, I decided to watch one of the things I had recorded on our DVR.
Yesterday, while we were at the non-memorial I set the DVR to record the movie San Andreas, which I figured would be a corny, cheesy movie that would easily put me to sleep.
Yes on the former, no on the latter. Yes, it was cheesy, but the CGI was so good, as I watched a 2 hour earthquake and tsunami destroy California and it did NOT put me to sleep. So I ended up getting one hour of sleep.
San Andreas is a movie maybe one or two of you missed in its theatrical release, so I thought I would tell you the story. I don't know if you call this a spoiler alert or not since we know the state is destroyed, but here's how the plot goes, more or less.
It starts with a girl driving and texting in a car on a winding road in Southern California. Somehow she doesn't hit any of the cars coming around blind curves while she's not looking at the road, but a slight tremor disrupts the road enough that her car goes careening over the cliff and she is left hanging precariously in her car, which is caught on a tree midway down to the bottom.
A Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter, piloted by (actor) Dwayne Johnson comes to rescue her.
He sends one of his men down on a rope to catch her before her car falls, but the guy gets trapped under the car, so it's time for Dwayne to turn the helicopter controls over to his co-pilot and t Do The Job Himself.
As soon as he removes his helmet and jacket and starts to don the paraphernalia needed to drop down to the car, all those bulging muscles makes it clear that this is our HERO.
As the car breaks free of the tree and plunges to the bottom of the cliff, our HERO is shown with both the girl and his crew member on hand and all are rescued.
In the meantime the earth begins shaking in Nevada. Seismologist Paul Giamati nearly dies as Hoover Dam collapses, but he manages to rescue a child on the way, but loses a co-worker, who falls into the rushing water.
LA starts shaking, buildings fall. Dwayne's almost ex-wife is trapped on one of the top floors of a hotel, having a nice lunch. She calls her husband, in his helicopter. He tells her to get to the rooftop and he will rescue her. She does, amidst buildings falling around her and her own building nearly collapsing, but it's early in the movie so of course he comes to the rescue at the last minute.
Looking at his stats, Giamati realizes that the earthquake is going to travel up all of California, eventually reaching San Francisco. He tries to get the word out to San Franciscans that they need to evacuate NOW.
(All of these scenes are accompanied by buildings exploding or imploding or collapsing, glass falling out into the streets, people being hit by falling blocks of concrete, and general mayhem).
Their daughter is in San Francisco with the wife's new boyfriend. When the ground starts shaking there, she also calls Dad in the helicopter because the car she was riding in is trapped in a hotel garage. (She gets great cell phone reception in the underground garage, trapped under concrete)
Dwayne turns to his almost ex wife and says "We're going to get our daughter!" and heads the helicopter 400 miles north to Get. His. Daughter. Only the helicopter gets hit by flying debris and has to crash land. They hot wire a truck and continual driving north until the truck comes to a big crevasse in the highway.
It is, however, conveniently near in a field next to a small airport, where Dwayne is able to hotwire a plane and continue his journey. because that's the stuff HEROs do..
More falling debris, though now it's the familiar streets of San Francisco I see collapsing. Daughter gets rescued by a boy she met and his brother and they are now out of the garage. More buildings collapse. She calls Dad again (amazing cell phone service in a town that is being destroyed!) He tells her to go to high ground and suggests she get to Coit Tower (not what I'd call a "high point"). They only have to go several miles over rubble and crashing buildings to get there.
In the meantime, nearing SF, the plane is running out of gas and Dwayne decides they are going to set down at AT&T Park (home of the Giants), only the plane can't go there, so while the plane flies off to crash who knows where, he and the almost ex wife parachute down into the park.
Dwayne rescues people in the street, because he's a HERO and gets them inside the park, but with the amount of debris and continually collapsing buildings he realizes there is no way walk to Coil Tower, so they hot wire a boat and decide to go around on the Bay.
In the meantime, after walking forever, daughter and entourage see Coit Tower off in the distance and discover that the parkland around it is on fire and they won't be able to get there. They decide to head for the next highest peak, Nob Hill (I'm not sure who decided these "high points." Did nobody think of Twin Peaks? A real high point....and also solid ground. Also away from falling buildings, so uninteresting photographically.) For some reason they don't call Daddy this time around.
Somehow they end up inside a building when a huge tsunami hits and what buildings weren't already shaken by the quake are now being washed away by water. They manage to keep climbing higher and higher in the building to escape the water.
Dwayne and his little rubber boat has also encountered the tsunami and are now floating around among the debris of the financial district when suddenly, incredibly they see their daughter and her friends in the window of a building.
Dwayne turns boat controls over to his not yet ex wife and dives in to save. their. daughter. He gets to her, but he is one one side of a pane of glass and she on the other and they can't break it (their goodbye is a real Spock-Kirk moment). As he watches, helpless, she gets swallowed up in the water and begins to sink. Not yet ex wife sees the problem, revs up the boat motor and rams into the glass, breaking it. Hell hath no fury like a Mom trying to save her kid. Dwayne reaches lifeless daughter and drags her out to the boat.
CPR goes on forever. In the meantime boy and his brother have also come to the boat. She's dead. Can't be revived. But Dwayne isn't going to take no for an answer because he is a HERO and tries again. She coughs up water and sits up with a "where am I" look. Happy hugs all around.
Now they are all together, at last, on the boat but another enormous wave is headed into the city.
Dwayne realizes there is no "through" it, only "over" it, so revs the tiny boat's motor and attacks the wave. After near collision with a huge freighter, whose cargo nearly hits them many times before it rips through the Golden Gate Bridge, they come out the other side and look back at the destroyed city.
"Now we rebuild," HERO Dwayne says.
Not yet ex wife does not sing "San Francisco."
Oh yeah...not yet ex wife's boyfriend was conveniently killed by a falling building, so the rekindled love between Dwayne and not yet ex wife can proceed unhampered. All's well that ends well.
And that's why I had no sleep last night.