The Core movie poster
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The Core movie poster

The Core Movie Review

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For the most part, it flopped, and its failure wasn't the least bit surprisingly. A big destruction movie that is released in the early months of the year before the end of the April most likely means there is something wrong with it. After all, it is about about a team of scientists that use a ship to travel to the core of the Earth.

Immensely surprised was I when The Core turned out to be extremely entertaining. Yes, despite one major flaw that I will speak about in a moment, The Core is actually one of the most entertaining movies of 2003. It has some decent destruction scenes and lots of action; it also begins very effectively and thus pulled me in from the first minute.

The Core shows what apparently would happen if the core of the Earth stopped spinning, thus causing the electromagnetic field around the Earth to decay. This in turn would cause ultraviolet rays from the sun to strike the planet without any interference, which in a few months' time would burn the planet to a crisp. That wouldn't happen, thankfully, before the world would get ravaged by super storms, and allow a time frame for a couple of astronauts and a few scientists to take a special ship thousands of miles into the Earth's mantle to detonate 1000 megatons of nuclear explosives in an attempt to reactivate the core.

Why so many scientists are needed to travel to the center of the Earth is beyond me, but, of course, some of them will die in the process, which will leave the survivors to make some last minute modifications to the plan before the Earth turns into one big pizza oven. Only two astronauts go on the trip (what if they both die? - who would fly the ship?).

Regardless, the characters are fairly entertaining, though not as much so as those oil drillers in Armageddon. The big name in the movie is Oscar winner Hilary Swank, who actually does a pretty good job here. The lead role goes to one Aaron Eckhart, an actor that I am not all that crazy about. He does a decent job, but I still wasn't overly impressed. Other recognizable names include Delroy Lindo, Bruce Greenwood, Tcheky Karyo, DJ Qualls, Alfre Woodard and Stanley Tucci. DJ Qualls (the skinny kid from Road Trip) doesn't exactly strike a lot of confidence into me in a "serious" action movie, but he actually does a pretty good job, considering.

All in all, The Core was amazingly quite entertaining; I didn't feel as stupefied as I thought I would be, and I really got into the movie. The first 15 or 20 minutes are very well done, as the movie starts off not with big explosions but with stranger things, such as seemingly random people falling over dead, and pigeons turned kamikaze.

There is only one flaw. This flaw, I thought, would make me hate the movie (since I, and hopefully everyone else that watched this film, knew that it was coming), but only during a few brief periods did I actually think about it. Others may think about it more, and everyone should consider it before renting or buying this movie. The flaw is: Almost everything in this movie is utterly impossible!

Now, I realize that such films as Deep Impact, Armageddon, Independence Day and most other destruction movies are not exactly realistic, but for the most part, what happens in those movies could theoretically happen. People literally cannot travel to the center of the Earth. First off, it is very unlikely that anytime within the next hundred years we could develop some kind of ship that first can turn rock into Jello so that we can burrow right through it, second sustain the immense pressures of going thousands of miles into the Earth's crust, mantle and core, and third, be made in less than three months. Furthermore, after piercing a giant geode floating around in the mantle, the terranauts actually get out in there super space suits, defying the fact that they would be crumpled into the size of a pea most likely or vaporize under the intense heat. Also, noticeable gravity is created by large massed. The further you get inside a planet, the more mass there is behind and around you. Thus, as you get closer to the center of the Earth, gravity would actually weaken; in this movie, the ship speeds up for a reason even God doesn't understand.

Still, all of that being said, I surprisingly enjoyed The Core. Despite its total lack of believability, it is almost believable. And it is incredibly entertaining.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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