Molly Dunn (Jhey Castles) lost her father during an earthquake when she was young which is why she has dedicated her life to creating an early warning system for seismic activity. It hasn't been smooth sailing as a previous warning turned out to be false, something which student Nick (Jason Woods) likes to remind her of. But when Molly's latest warnings prove to be accurate it comes with a fright as a major series of earthquakes are going to hit the area. Forced to work with Nick, who Molly learns to her disapproval has been secretly dating her stepdaughter Ali (Grace Van Dien), they need to get in to the city to rescue Ali who has become trapped in the hotel she has started working at.
I have said before that I actually enjoy watching bad disaster movies; yes I know I am a little bit strange, but their badness can often become what is most entertaining about them. And there is certainly is plenty of bad in "San Andreas Quake" such as a scene where a chopper blows up when a plane crashes in to it on the ground, the phrase "I thought it would be bigger" comes to mind when it comes to the explosion. Then there is the usual array of bad special effects when it comes to quakes, crashes and all the usual things which you expect from a bad disaster movie.
But the cream of all this is some unbelievable developments as we have Molly and Nick trying to make it in to the city to where Ali is trapped, on the subject of which we have a sort of Poseidon Adventure thing going on in the damaged hotel. But back to Molly and Nick, well let me just say they have an encounter with a baby hippo and a protective mummy hippo, yes we have hippos in a disaster movie about earthquakes. There are a lot of other strange developments alongside dialogue which is so bad it is impossible not to laugh, well groan and laugh.
What this all boils down to is that "San Andreas Quake" is some stereotypical disaster movie nonsense which like so many of these movies actually trades on a lot of what is bad about it rather than trying to be good. Once upon a time I might have said that life is too short to waste on bad movies but sometimes a bad movie is the sort of nonsense you need to make you appreciate the good movies.