There is no doubt that the trailer for San Andreas is captivating, and the film saw huge success on its release day, but the disaster movie has been rocking up the scientific community with its content. The movie does show some very promising factors however. A huge catastrophe puts everyone in danger and there is panic run rampant. A big, muscular hero is determined to save his beautiful family.
Dwayne Johnson even mentioned on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon that an expert in seismology had read over the script and told the entire crew that everything in the movie could actually happen. That right there creates lingering thoughts and fear of the events actually occurring which will obviously lure viewers and spark discussions. Scientists, however, have been discussing the unlikely hood of the events in the movie.
The disaster movie raked in $18 million on Friday and is being projected to hit $50 million over the weekend. This is a really good outcome for a movie featuring a well-known actor, which is what probably attracted most of the crowd. Scenes in the movie have been purported to defy the very laws of physics. Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, pointed out that the movie is undoubtedly packed with great action and mind-blowing special effects, but lacks reality. He was even asked by the filmmakers to review the script, but mentions that much of what he had advised was not taken to heart. “I gave them free advice, some of which they took – play up ‘drop, cover, and hold on’ – but much of which they didn’t – magnitude 9’s are too big for the San Andreas, and it can’t produce a big tsunami,” says Jordan.
The movie shows the San Andreas fault hitting a magnitude nine earthquake, but the truth is that it maxes out at 8.3. Another exhilarating scene in the movie was the massive earthquake opening up a canyon. What was the response to the possibility of that occurence? Experts say none at all, because earthquakes are caused by the friction between two pieces of earth. If the great earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco was only felt as far out as Nevada, then there is no way that the one portrayed in the movie could have reached the East Coast. Earthquakes can cause some serious damage, but not an all out apocalyptic rampage. One of the only valid events portrayed in the movie is that earthquakes could in fact cause a chain reaction, but San Andreas is still rocking up among those in the scientific community.
Earthquake expert, Lucy Jones, had the great privilege of attending the San Andreas red carpet premiere on Tuesday. She definitely entertained her large group of Twitter followers by live-tweeting her experience throughout the movie. A majority of her tweets show her disappointment in the scientific reality, but it can sure stir up a good laugh.
According to her, the movie was flawed in showing that scientists could predict earthquakes. Her tweet states, “If seismologists could actually predict EQs, we’d all be much richer. Too bad that part of San Andreas isn’t real…” Is it possible to run through a magnitude nine earthquake as a little girl faces impending doom with a failing Hoover Dam? Johnson proves that surely he can. In reality, the force of an earthquake like the movie would knock anyone to the ground. Senior civil engineer for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Ernie Hall, mentioned that the chances of Hoover Dam crumbling from any seismic activity would be extremely slim.
The movie will attract disaster movie fanatics and fans of Johnson to witness him in all of his heroic glory. Jones believes that it may raise awareness on earthquake safety. The reviews for San Andreas have been rather shaky, but it will undoubtedly continue rocking up the scientific community.
By Frank Grados
L.A Times – Is ‘San Andreas’ real? For starters, you can’t run in a major quake
L.A Times – Earthquake expert Lucy Jones live-tweets ‘San Andreas’ premiere
L.A Times – ‘San Andreas’ filmmakers disregarded science advice, expert says
Forbes – ‘San Andreas’ rocks Friday box office with $18.2 million
Photo Courtesy of 惡龍~Stewart’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License