Written by Cooper Layne and John Rogers
Running Time: 2:14
as Josh Keyes
The Core was arguably the least enjoyable disaster film I've ever seen. Even moving past the ridiculous plot, the characters, dialogue and special effects were all second, and even third, rate.
The liquid metallic inner core of the Earth has stopped spinning for some unknown reason. Because of this, the Earth's electromagnetic field, which protects the Earth from the harmful rays of the sun, is breaking down, causing all sorts of problems. People with pacemakers are falling dead, birds and other migratory animals are losing their sense of direction and crashing into buildings, and as time goes on, lightning storms and earthquakes will ravage the planet and ultimately destroy it. A group made up of scientists and NASA astronauts are chosen to go to the center of the Earth and restart the core, using nuclear devices. The first half of the movie is spent meeting the characters and showing their roles, along with the building of the ship that will take then underneath the ground, while the second half of the movie shows the trip. The end result is of course not a surprise.
Let's for a second forget about the ridiculous plot, although I'm sure that's impossible. Creating a ship that can burrow to the center of the Earth while not completely being compressed within the first couple of miles is not possible. It's the little things within the fantastical plot that bothered me. Let's assume this ship was possible, and that you could build a ship that could withstand almost any amount of heat and pressure and that could burrow its way through anything. Apparently however, diamonds can still hurt it, since a diamond at one point cuts their ship. With the amount of money they had available, wouldn't it have made sense to coat the outer part of the ship with diamonds to protect themselves? Another problem was the fact that the ship was built into 6 or 7 parts. If the hull of one of the parts was breached, they could simply eject it and continue on. So of course this happened, and the last part of the ship was hit and they had to eject it. What was supposed to have happened if it wasn't the last part of the ship, but the second or third part that got hit? There was no way to eject the middle of the ship and have the rest stay connected. And the last annoying plot thing I'll talk about (although there are many, many more) is how it's possible for human beings wearing suits made out of the same material as the ship to wander around the inside of the planet in 5000 degree heat and not die. You'll notice the ship didn't have any windows, yet the suits the people wore had clear face shields. Shouldn't the shields have melted? One last issue, and I know there's not much that could be done because of the importance of the scene, but it felt really weird having an extended sequence dealing with a space shuttle flying out of control and landing in Los Angeles. The scene was a long one and introduced Hilary Swank's character and wasn't something that could simply be edited out, but coming so close on the heels of the Columbia disaster, I feel they could have postponed the film until later in the year.
I of course realize that most sci-film incorporate things that couldn't happen in real life, at least right now, so if you can get past these glaring issues, you might enjoy the film. That being said, I didn't find much else about the movie I liked. The characters were poorly developed so that as they each died one by one (there's some fun, figuring out beforehand which characters are going to die, and how), I didn't care about any of them. I was hoping they'd die so that it would keep the movie entertaining. Unfortunately, when they each died, nothing really out of the ordinary happened. No one exploded, no one melted. At least on screen. They just died, people got sad for a minute, then they moved on. You had a pretty impressive cast with an Academy Award winner and some seriously gifted actors in Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, Delroy Lindo and Stanley Tucci, and yet they all more or less just floated through their roles. Almost as if they were all tired of doing small indie films and wanted a big payday. Other than a couple of funny lines from Eckhart's character, their emotions and dialogue were beyond cheesy and rather lame.
Again, for a disaster film of this nature, you could expect all of the above and still be pleased from the movie if the special effects were good. I'm here to say that they were not. Yes, some of the scenes of Italy exploding and the Golden Gate Bridge falling apart were decent, but it wasn't anything we hadn't seen before in half a dozen other films in recent past. And the entire going to the center of the planet thing was horrible. Everything was shown on a video screen. The only times they actually showed the interior of the planet was when they crash landed in the middle of a giant geode and when the nuclear devices exploded. When the devices exploded all you saw was a lot of yellow, so that was nothing worthwhile. And when they had the chance to make something interesting with the crash landing, it looked like it was put together in someone's basement. Large rubber looking crystals laying on the ground with someone putting those glow-in-the-dark stars on a black wall. Very boring.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I wouldn't recommend The Core. The story, characters, dialogue and special effects were all poor and unexciting. For a disaster film, it was certainly that... a disaster.
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