The Core (2003) Directed by Jon Amiel. With Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci and Delroy Lindo.
Clocking in at a hefty 135mins, The Core is a natural disaster film, the like of which have seen a cinematic boom in the wake of the enhancements of computer generated imagery. Thoughts of such films turn mostly to Roland Emmerich, the German director behind such offerings as The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012, both of which were increasingly spectacular and rubbish in equal measure.
Directed by Jon Amiel, a film maker whose CV boasts a range of efforts in various genres, The Core is an at first intriguing, but steadily stupidly executed idea that conveniently eschews any annoyingly limited scientific impossibility, in favour of thrills and spills. It’s a shame then, that it spills more than it thrills.
The Earth’s core has stopped rotating. The science guys get together and hatch a plan, involving a manned ship, armed with a laser that can cut through rock using sound waves to drill to the the centre of the planet, via the ocean, to detonate some massive bombs to get it moving again. Where else but Hollywood?
On paper, the premise sounds like good old fashioned, Friday night popcorn fun. And sometimes, it just about is, especially in the scenes that precede the mission. What’s more the film has a fine cast of actors led by Aaaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank and the always impressive, Stanley Tucci. Where the film fails, and it does so quite epically, is that it’s never possible to escape just how implausible and downright silly the whole thing is. You’d think drilling to the Earth’s core would result in a certain degree of turbulence wouldn’t you? It turns out it’s as smooth as Hilary Swanks perfect complexion.
The film was released before Roland Emmerich started destroying the planet by all foul means, and has been mostly forgotten, since. The CGI has dated quite badly – although I’m not convinced it ever looked that good – and although it tries to avoid the painful schmaltz that is rife in these big screen tale’s of individual herosim and self sacrifice for the greater good of humankind, it is still a cheesy ball of guff that is as clumsy as it is stupid. 2.5/5