The first I knew of San Andreas was (name drop alert) while interviewing Alexandra Daddario last year. The drop dead gorgeous, not bad actress was plugging True Detective and was hyped about the shoot in Australia. I tried to share her enthusiasm but Dwayne Johnson has never been top of my list when it comes to must see movies.
The fact San Andreas is as enjoyable as it is was a welcome surprise.
Yes, it's hard to watch without comparing to a dozen other disaster flicks, from Earthquake (naturally) to Daylight, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012.
The latter is a personal favourite for its stunning effects and tongue in cheek humour. SA is more of a soap opera (even featuring a cameo by Kylie).
The cheesy scenes of estranged couple bonding in spite of mass carnage was often unintentionally hilarious. Or maybe that's just the tone its creators were going for. Who knows?
Seen in 2D, the movie rattled along at a fair pace, despite plot holes bigger than some of the fissures.
Characters waste precious seconds watching the disasters unfold instead of running; our hero and his estranged wife blissfully drive past an elderly couple in need of roadside assistance and ignore them... but then go back once they realise they can't go forward.
And some of the dialogue is so redundant.
"Run. Get off the bridge!" yells the ever reliable Paul Giamatti as characters attempt to do just that on a collapsing Hoover Dam.
Niggles aside, this is just the sort of trashy popcorn blockbuster you'll hate yourself for liking.
From the heart-in-mouth rescue at the start to its standout tsunami scene, San Andreas may be full of faults (pun intended), but the presence of Johnson, Daddario and Carla Gugino made it a worthwhile watch.