San Andreas 3D review

Get your home cinema Rocking with this Dolby Atmos-powered disaster flick

When California is devastated by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake, Los Angeles Air Rescue pilot Ray Gaines (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson) and his ex-wife Emma (Carla Gugino) set out to find their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) in the ruins of San Francisco.

While it's unlikely to appeal to those looking for a more cerebral (or even slightly plausible) form of cinematic escapism, San Andreas scores high on the Richter Scale for sheer entertainment value. Like all the best disaster movies, it's fully aware that half of the fun comes from the moments of devastation; director Brad Peyton delivers scene after scene of convincingly muscular CGI devastation (although the VFX effects budget doesn't seem to have been able to cover the poorly-photoshopped family portrait seen early in the film).

However, it also recognises that while watching skyscrapers crumble into dust is fun, it's not something that can sustain a two-hour flick. Hence the proficient cast that's been assembled, with The Rock's boundless charisma and enthusiasm infecting every frame of the project and going some way to making amends for the occasional fault lines that run throughout the script.

It's as big and dumb as films come, but San Andreas is no disaster.

Picture: There's little room for complaint when it comes to this disc's 2.40:1 Full HD presentation. While there's a slight softness to some of the CG cityscapes, the live-action photography is crisply delineated and boasts pleasingly refined textures. Blacks are deep and lustrous, while primary colours have plenty of pop. Another impressive hi-def encode from the ever-reliable Warner Bros.

Unsurprisingly, this sort of film lends itself to 3D extremely well, and the accompanying MVC 2.40:1 stereoscopic encode is very impressive. Image clarity remains high at all light levels, with strong detailing evident throughout. Object separation is also very good, giving the imagery an appreciable sense of depth and volume. The post-conversion job also makes effective use of negative parallax, never missing the opportunity to thrust some collapsing debris in your face.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: Who'd a thunk it? A film that sees skyscrapers collapsing and a tsunami hitting San Francisco delivers an absolutely barnstorming Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

This is an LFE-rich showcase for the format, with the vertical dimension adding an even greater sense of immersion and scale to the sound design. Falling debris is a particular strength, even if the sheer amount of carnage means that precise object-tracking is a little tricky.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Brad Peyton is on hand with an enjoyable, informative chat track, while a trio of short featurettes provide more info on the production (including the fact that the score features sped-up recordings of the real San Andreas fault). Finishing things off are eight deleted scenes, plus gag- and stunt-reels.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: An enjoyably silly disaster flick bolstered by a strong cast and even stronger Dolby Atmos sonics

San Andreas 3D, Warner Bros., All-region BD, £28 Approx