The Core

"Grim"

The Core Review


The Core is Armageddon inside the Earth. If you've caught the trailer, spotted the revealing poster, or even overheard a total stranger briefly mentioning the plot in mixed company, then you've figured this much already. What's most distressing is that The Core is Armageddon without a heart to dangle from its sleeves. Michael Bay's bombastic endeavor may have choked itself on chest-heaving male bonding and fist-pumping patriotism, but at least it gave a damn. Here, we're going through the motions.

When the core of our planet stops spinning on its axis - a reason is given, though it makes little sense - a motley crew of hastily-trained scientists must accompany two astronauts (Bruce Greenwood, Hilary Swank) to the Earth's center so they can jump-start our globe using nuclear weapons.

Casually brilliant college professor Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), a geophysicist who specializes in electromagnetic science, earns his spot aboard the rescue mission by discovering this environmental plight. He brings his findings to smug but respected Dr. Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci), who in turn recruits the intellectually gifted but reclusive Dr. Edward Brazleton (Delroy Lindo). Brazleton has designed a prototype ship crafted from astonishingly strong materials that can tunnel through rock. Tcheky Karyo tags along as Eckhart's pal, while Road Trip's DJ Qualls plays a techie teenager whose only responsibility is to attract the 18-24 demographic.

Even after a five-month delay to shore up some key CGI moments, The Core only gets half of its formulas correct. For a science-fiction yarn, it skims over the science and pours on the fiction. And as a special effects extravaganza, its effects just aren't very special. World cities, or tiny models made to resemble them, crumble under the weight of high-level static discharges and scorching hot microwave rays. If anything, the eye candy is consistently amateurish in a charmingly retro sort of way.

No one's winning any awards for Core, though Eckhart deserves credit for his cavalier approach to the clichéd material. He's the only actor who remembers to have some fun. Inevitable love interest Swank is unable to connect with him, which speaks more to her lack of chemistry than his lack of effort. The rest of the cast are caricatures that exist to be eliminated whenever Core wants to unsuccessfully tug the heartstrings instead of ineffectively jolting our seats.

Obviously, audiences aren't looking to The Core for mentally stimulating cinema. This is escapism, but even the sweetest, high-calorie treats should avoid obvious missteps. Five minutes into the film, 32 people in a ten block radius simultaneous drop dead because they have pacemakers. Thirty-two? And they all had pacemakers? In a ten block radius? That's just silly.

But one scene stands apart from the rest for being just too absurd. It isn't the controversial space shuttle crash landing, which still sends chills, even though it looks terrible. Nor is it the torching of San Francisco, which zips by quite rapidly and cheats on the after-effects. No, it's a global summit, during which representatives from all the nations of the world agree to keep this mission under wraps, so as not to panic the general public. In light of our current political situations, having seen the amount of hoops our own country has to go through to launch a military campaign, this scene really seemed far-fetched. In a movie overflowing with laughable scenarios, that one takes the cake.

The DVD adds a commentary track from director Jon Amiel, and it sounds like he's falling asleep as well (and questions why you might be watching the film and/or listening to his commentary). About 15 minutes of deleted scenes are curious, taking the film in a slightly different direction, though not a terribly better one.

Set the controls for the heart of the sun. Er, earth.



The Core

Facts and Figures

Run time: 135 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th March 2003

Box Office USA: $31.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $74.2M

Budget: $60M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, David Foster Productions, Horsepower Films, Core Productions, LivePlanet, Munich Film Partners New Century & Company (MFP) Core Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Fresh: 63 Rotten: 91

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Dr. Josh Keyes, as Maj. Rebecca Childs, as Dr. Ed 'Braz' Brazzleton, as Dr. Conrad Zimsky, as Serge, as Theodore Donald 'Rat' Finch, as Gen. Thomas Purcell, as Cmdr. Robert Iverson, as Dave Perry, Ray Galletti as Paul, as Lynne, Rekha Sharma as Danni, Tom Scholte as Acker, as FBI Agent, as FBI Agent, as Stickley

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.