Honestly, I didn’t think it could get much worse, but part two was not nearly as fun as Part 1. To start with, it was almost an hour into the second part before there was more ground shaking. Not only that, but apparently they have super-sonic ways of traveling in this show because one moment they are in LA at the Disaster Center (which by the way doesn’t make any sense since they KNOW the earthquakes are heading towards Southern California, why not relocate it to a place like Sacramento which seems to have escaped most of the damage, but I digress) and the next moment they are surveying damage in Redding, then a moment later they are back in LA.
Another problem? Lack of consistent damage. There were precious few scenes of the damage caused by the quakes, especially the 10.5 one. Heck, 1974’s Earthquake showed more damage and it was most certainly a smaller quake. Instead, they decided to spend the money on the island-making crack – and even that was only a couple of glances here and there with some water effects from Pinnacle Studio thrown in for good measure.
When LA gets slammed, all we see are A) Buildings in LA crumbling for a few brief shots, B) the Hollywood sign start tumbling down, and C) a hillside house crumble and burst into flames. The rest of the 10.5 is spent on watching the people at the refugee camps in Barstow roll around, get swallowed up by the earth, oh and yes let’s not forget the slow-mo-opera-music-when-the-producers-think-we-are-tired-after-5-minutes-of-screaming-and-earthquake-noises sequence. Personally, after seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and the Space Needle collapse in part 1, I at least expected to see some freeway overpasses collapse. After all the stock footage of the ’89 Loma Preita quake, I thought they would at least throw in a couple of Northridge. Maybe that’s too close to home for the producers.
Oh and before I forget, I was glad to see Fred Ward as the FEMA director get taken out by a nuclear warhead. That was certainly one of the better Character Who Meets Untimely Death ™. I was disappointed he got to talk to his son before it blew up. Most characters in this role aren’t that lucky and it is always more emotionally powerful when they don’t get that last phone call (just look at poor Rachel who had the argument with her hubby before taking a header at the SF City Hall). And what is up with the lack of a token exchange of sentimental item?
At any rate, Part two was a let down – even for the cheese fest that it was. I think Susie and I need to sit down and write our own disaster movie.