Friday, March 18, 2016

10.0 Earthquake – Not Even a Guilty Pleasure

Length: 88 minutes
Release Date: October 15, 2014
Rating: NR
Director: David Gidali

Gladstone is a seriously crazy scientist, even more crazy than Jeffrey Jones who plays him. Seriously, if you don't know what happened to the principal from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, now is not the time to look him up. He finds evidence that a massive earthquake will hit Los Angeles, but because he's a lunatic, no one believes him. Cut to the basic plot of San Andreas.

Jack is a divorced guy who works in fracking and loves to talk about how it's not dangerous to the environment. He and his daughter had plans for the night, but when he stops to pick her up from his ex-wife's house, he finds that she already made plans to spend the next few days camping with her friends. I don't know about you, but there is no way my parents would have let my 16 year old self go to a national forest with two random guys and another girl for an unsupervised camping trip. Upset at being left out and for his daughter not caring, Jack goes back to work.

Emily is a brand new environmental scientist sent to work in Los Angeles. She arrives just in time to wind that the organization has a lack of funding and basically just one other person working there. When the first tremors hit, she rushes to find Gladstone after hearing that he has a theory about what's going on. Cue the two of them rushing around Los Angeles to try and help as no one believes them.

Jack's daughter, who I literally cannot remember the name of – nor the names of any of her friends, goes off camping. We have the stereotypical nerdy guy who actually wants to talk to her dad about fracking and the environment. That naturally makes him the butt of every joke and makes me wonder why he bothered going on the trip and why they even invited him. We also have the jock guy who goes for the daughter and winds up screwing her best friend when he gets rejected, the whiny best friend character, and some other random douche bag. When they get trapped because of the quakes, Jack and his ex-wife reunite to save her.

I've seen a lot of bad movies and can usually find some redeeming qualities, but 10,0 Earthquake is just another forgettable film. As much as I love natural disaster movies, this one takes a little too much inspiration from San Andreas, which is one of my guilty pleasure movies. Seriously, I bought a copy during the Black Friday sale at Target and have watched it like three times since then. The only differences are that San Andreas had a way bigger budget and no crazy geologist or environmental scientists.

Henry Ian Cusick is one of the few redeeming features though. As someone who recently watched the entire first four seasons of Scandal, it's nice to see him back on screen, even if it's in something like this. Cameron Richardson, who I loved on the underrated Harper's Island, doesn't do nearly as well with her Emily. She's pretty much just there, and I'm a little surprised that I even remembered her name. If you're in the mood for a guilty pleasure earthquake movie, pop in San Andreas instead.

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