Abandon all brains ye who enter here
The Core is one of those movies you can hate intensely yet can feel a
strange affinity for. It resembles the kind of nonsensical
science-fiction made in the 1950s when audiences had no knowledge
whatsoever about science: a dodgy set-up, a ludicruous solution, and an
eager band of gradually expendable characters to join you on this
world-saving adventure. Like its predecessor Armageddon it gives you a
totally unbelievable scenario, but pleasingly does not fill the ship
with a grab-bag of misfits and personality disorders to provide humour.
And off they go deep into the Earth's crust, armed with a mid-range
special effects budget and a mid-range script. Like HG Wells or
Lovecraft you can either reject it out of hand, or bite your tongue and
enjoy the ride. I chose the latter, and while I shook my head
continuously, it wasn't the worst thing I've seen.
Like many sci-fi films these days, the set-up seemed better than the
conclusion: dozens of people sporting pacemakers drop dead after a
magnetic shockwave hits a city, pigeons go berserk in Trafalgar Square,
the Space Shuttle veers off-course and lands in an LA culvert. The
movie's head boffin is comandeered from his dull lecturing job to
explain the world's problems with the help of a peach, some
air-freshener and a cigarette lighter (perhaps the most pathetic
scientific demo in the history of cinema). You see, the Earth's core
has stopped spinning, our electro-magnetic field is dying, and we're
all about to be toasted by the solar winds. How do we get it fixed?
Drill 2000 miles into the core and detonate some nukes? No problem!
I'll ignore the many scientific, physical and continuity errors that
popped up during the movie as they have been amply described here
already - more or better advice could've been taken to prevent these
needless flaws is all I can say. Then again, good old B-movie schlock
like "Fantastic Voyage" and "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" also
had its share of shortcomings, and this is in the same vein - I just
hope nobody thinks they are learning geophysics from this film. Watch
it with eyes wide open and brain shut, and you'll be fine.
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