north americaeurope
  in brief
the core
  jon amiel
  aaron eckhart, delroy lindo, hilary swank
the good: it actually is entertaining. somewhat, on some levels. keeps up a decent pace.
the bad: bad science. very bad science. bad acting, just a ridiculous plot.
we say:
in depth

If you've heard anything about this movie, then you know it's based on an outrageously ridiculous premise. The US government, in an effort to preserve ideals of Mutually Assured Destruction, created a weapon to affect the very core of the planet. DESNTINI as it's called, is a seismic weapon with the ability to cause earthquakes in enemy territory. However, it also has the unintended side effect of causing the earth's liquid core to stop spinning (!).

This really isn't very good, because such spinning motion is responsible for the planet's protetcive electromagnetic field. Without it, poor birds can't fly, severe storms will wrack the earth, and cosmic radiation will the render the planet lifeless. Of course, the only way to save the planet, is to uhm.... pilot a ship to the core of the earth and detonate lots of nuclear weapons. And yes, this was a big budget, wide release movie, that visited theatres before heading to DVD. Crazy....

Despite the scientific nightmares posed by such a plot, 'The Core' avoids them admirably by making up whatever it needs along the way. Such as the invincible metal, 'Unobtanium'. If it ever has to attempt to explain anything, the screenwriters delight in using a muddled array of analogies, including lighting a peach on fire. Of course, if you're expecting a scientifically sound premise from a movie like this, there's something wrong with you in the first place.

The film does manage some enjoyable moments. The effects of the crumbling electromagnetic field are well portrayed, including a clip in England's Trafalgar square reminiscent of 'The Birds'. The movie also includes a chilling scene of a crumbling Golden Gate Bridge, which looks pretty realistic. However, in a movie about a journey to the Earth's core, there's bound to plenty of special effects underground, and these are less impressive. It's pretty hard to come up with convincing shots in an opaque river of molten rock, and it shows. I would imagine it can be difficult to realistically portray a location no one's every been to. Although this offers a chance for some artistic license, there's really nothing very special to see. Most of the time it's just plain disappointing.

The acting is decent throughout, and sometimes raises it's head above mediocre. This is impressive in itself, as the dialogue can be laughable, and some of the situations irritating. There's an annoying character or two, but luckily the filmmakers have no hesitation in killing them off, which adds to the interest of the movie. Being crushed alive, death by melting, nuclear explosions... a nice collection in general.

'The Core' does manage to keep a pretty fast pace. There's always *something* happening, and as one would expect in a journey to the center of the earth, everything that can go wrong, does. Whenever the characters find a stupid way to make things right again, something else goes wrong, so there's plenty to keep you entertained.

If however, you value quality over quantity, then you won't be all that impressed. On the other hand, if you're in the mood for some mindless quasi-fun, then 'the Core' will somewhat satisfy. Just turn your brain off before you start.


reviewed by dragonsworn staff
  in closing
a b-movie with an a-movie budget is still a b-movie. it's plenty stupid, but can be entertaining. if you can't stand bad science, stay very far away.