They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, here’s hoping Roland Emmerich feels the same way. A couple days ago we got our first look at San Andreas, the upcoming disaster film featuring The Rock vs. Earthquake, and something felt a little too familiar. “Where will you be?” asks the trailer. Well, turns out the trailer for 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow asked the exact same question in a trailer that, generally speaking, is pretty similar to the one for San Andreas. Is it too similar? Judge for yourself after the jump.
Truth be told, the whole San Andreas trailer has a very Emmerich-esque vibe to it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who did a double take when I saw Brad Peyton listed as director, but that’s not exactly surprising given that Emmerich has been THE GUY for big-budget disaster flicks for almost two decades now. And in defense of San Andreas, disaster movies are pretty formulaic. You’re going to see skyscrapers crumble, you’re going to see floods, you’re going to see an avuncular character spout off ominous warnings that go unheeded until it’s too late, and you’re going to see the destruction of iconic landmarks (though The Hollywood Sign really doesn’t have the same impact as The Statue of Liberty – watching a letter fall on its face is not exactly an “oh shit!” moment).
The disaster sub-genre is laden with tropes, and part of the fun is watching those tropes be fulfilled. It’s only a matter of if it’s done well or not. So where will I be? I’ll be sitting in a theater watching San Andreas, hoping like hell it’s the fun ride I want it to be.