The Core


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Sci Fi


The Core
The Masked Reviewer

Is it a movie about the center of a giant apple?  No!  It's a big budget disaster film directed by John Amiel.  You may remember John from such films as Copycat and The Man Who Knew Too Little.  Both of those directing credits seem like good training for The Core, as the film seems to have been "copycatted", yet would have benefited from a director who knew more than too little.

It would be very hard to avoid finding out  what this film is about, so it will be revealed here.  The core of the Earth stops spinning, and Bad Things happen.  On the crust, this seems like a good premise, but as you penetrate the layers of plot towards the center, it becomes obvious that there's no tasty cream filling, just a lot of hot magma. 

There are a lot of potentially fascinating things that could happen on a journey to the core of the Earth.  Actually, maybe there aren't.  Lots of rocks, lots of heat, lots of pressure.  Well, there was a lot of all that.  Basically, The Core struggled to be more interesting than a geology class.  Of course, some people must find geology to be fascinating, otherwise there wouldn't be places that sold rock tumblers.  Those geology fans may like this movie, although the science behind the film is pretty thin. 

For scientists or nerds in general who like to analyze the math and science in a film, this one provides plenty of fodder for discussion between re-runs of Star Trek.  The Masked Reviewer isn't a geologist, but he did find some of the science to be a bit suspect.

It's a film about the world ending unless a group of brave adventurers can travel through harsh conditions to dig deep underground and set off a nuclear blast and restore the planet to normal.  Who would think a movie like that could be entertaining?  I guess the people who produced Armageddon did.  And they were right.  That formula isn't quite as successful for The Core. 

As far as disaster movies go, they do have some nice effects of treasured landmarks blowing up.  The bad news is that if you've seen the previews, you've seen the best parts.  The Masked Reviewer is left to wonder what landmarks are left...between Independence Day, Volcano, Mars Attacks, Armageddon, and Deep Impact, there aren't too many things left to blow up.  When the Masked Reviewer makes his disaster film, it will feature the destruction of the world's largest ball of twine in Cawker City, Kansas as well as the Grand Canyon being filled up by a lot of apocalyptic dirt. 

There was a nice scene that was reminiscent of Hitchcock's The Birds.  Very similar.  If you like scenes with a lot of birds in them, then that scene alone will be worth the price of admission for you. 

The Core has a solid cast, and the performances are all surprisingly good.  Delroy Lindo, Stanley Tucci, and Alfre Woodard are in it.  So is Tchéky Karyo (he's been in a few things, he's got a French accent, and his name looks like it's pronounced "Shecky").  It also stars DJ Qualls (of American Pie fame) and Aaron Eckhart, who looks more familiar than he should, considering he hasn't been in many noteworthy projects.  And, let us not forget, this film also stars Academy Award winning actress Hilary Swank.  Everyone is fun to watch, especially Tucci in a freak-out scene, but even solid acting all the way around can't make this movie as compelling as it could be.  It's like a good acting core surrounded by a crust of hackneyed, overdone, ho-hummery. 

All that being said, the strength of the acting saves the film from being too hard to watch.  It's an okay distraction for a couple of hours, and while it's not up to the standards of the biggest hitters in the disaster film genre, it does have a couple of memorable moments.  If you love  the other contemporary disaster films about tornadoes, giant asteroids, super storms, and volcanoes, then this will complete your collection.  Some people might feel the need to see a movie about every possible disaster, to help them prepare in case that scenario should ever actually happen.  For those people who are worried about the Earth's core stopping, this movie could save your life.


Expectation from the Title: A movie about the U.S. Marine Core.  Of course, they spell it c-o-r-p-s, which would be pronounced "corpse", and that would be a public relations nightmare for recruitment. 

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything): Those people were very brave to try to save the world.

The Pros: Good acting by everyone, especially Stanley Tucci.  Lots of pigeons. 

 The Cons: Feels too familiar, very formulaic save-the-world-from-disaster flick.  Weak science.

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This site was last updated 09/22/04

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