With San Andreas coming out next week, I started to think about what in the hell is our fascination with disaster movies and why in the hell does Hollywood keep making them?
Even though they are really expensive to make, with the whole CGI destruction and the typically large cast involved with making these movies, they are actually really easy to make overall. There really is no need for a screenwriter (even though one is credited) because all they have to do is recycle a previous script. If you are looking to destroy a small town, then look at Dante’s Peak, Twister, Into the Storm, or Hard Rain. Destroying a bigger city, go with Volcano, Battle: Los Angeles, or any of the Godzilla movies. You want something more global, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and Independence Day.
It is the same set up over and over again. A nerdy science guy (or girl) see the pattern in the whatever, then tries to warn the authorities, authorities don’t listen, then catastrophe strikes, and lots and lots of people die, but what do we care, they are CGI people. We follow the nerdy science guy and the plucky team (inevitably one or two of the team members will die), a family (sometimes with some kind of pet) that is dealing with a crisis of their own (usually the dad is some kind of emotional robot and ignores the wife and kids), and some random people there to be fodder for the disaster (one of them is usually a jerk we root for to die in the end). The main science person survives, along with the family (and their pet) who have managed to solve all of their problems, and most of the random people we really don’t know or care about (hopefully the jerk is not one of them).
These movies usually star several big names and usually one of those names is a big enough of an actor to carry a huge movie by themselves. Why they need to star in these? Is it a really good paycheck for them? I don’t know.
It is safe to say that I am not going to go see San Andreas this weekend (or possibly any other upcoming disaster type flicks in the future), but I do want to know why others would. Talk at me here and explain to me why.
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