Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Bruce Greenwood, Stanley Tucci | Directed by: Jon Amiel | Produced by: David Foster, Sean Bailey, Cooper Layne | Written by: Cooper Layne, John Rogers | Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Check your brain at the door.
Check your reason at the door.
Check most scientific theories that you have ever learned or will learn at the door.
But don’t check your heart at the door.
Though hardcore SciFi fans will probably not like “The Core”, it is one of those mediocre popcorn flicks that the 12 and under crowd will enjoy. And parents will be happy to note that excessive language and the usual obligatory sex scenes are pleasantly absent. No, this film will not be a blockbuster, but it will make for a decent afternoon matinee or an evening at the local “second-run” theater (which won’t take long).
Aaron Eckhart plays geophysicist Josh Keyes, a down-to-earth genius who figures out that there is something terribly wrong with Earth’s terra firma. His curiosity is peaked when some G-men show up and ask him to solve the deaths of several people in Boston. Quicker than you can say “X-files” or “Hitchcock,” pigeons begin to attack unsuspecting citizens. As it turns out, the government has created a secret project that is destroying the planet, causing instability in the ecosystem. Keyes’ determines that the cause is that the Earth’s core has stopped spinning. The good news is that same troublesome government can commission nukes to get it going again. They have less than three months to build a large drill, train the team, then send them center of the Earth. Obviously this is a film that creates its own logic, which it promptly turns around and and then defies.
But not to worry, backing up Keyes is an expert team of terranauts. You know, that team of misunderstood misfits destined to save the planet (every good disaster film must have one). Stanley Tucci (Dr. Conrad Zimsky) is the loquacious, chain-smoking scientist who isn’t telling everything he knows and wants credit for all the discoveries.
Hilary Swank (Maj. Rebecca Childs) is the NASA representative whose primary contribuition is landing a space shuttle on an implausible downtown site. Bruce Greenwood (Col. Robert Iverson) is the NASA pilot that always takes his job seriously and Delroy Lindo (Dr. Edward Brazzelton) is the not-so-mad scientist that will come up with the plan to save us all. Oh, and let us not forget DJ Qualls (Rat), the computer geek with the right “Kung Foo” to hack the planet. That is as long as you feed him Hot Pockets.
The external special effects are fairly decent, but the CGI renedrings of our super drill look like a video game from the 80’s. And though “The Core” does make for a good time, it could have benefitted from the skills of a good joke writer. In fact, I was surprised that Director Jon Amiel could make such a blah film. Unfortunately, after all the delays and re-edits (which is usually just hype) “The Core” does fall somewhat flat. However, it’s a film with heart and, once again, I do recommend it as decent, inoffensive entertainment.Year of Release—2003