The Core
Dir: Jon Amiel
Star: Christopher Shyer, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, Tchky Karyo
Cert / Year: 12A - PG13 / 2003
Format: DVD R1

After a series of strange electromagnetic anomalies scientist Dave Perry is bought in to investigate. His discovery is frightening, the Earth's magnetic core has stop spinning and everyone on the planet has less than six months to live. That is unless someone can travel to the core and kick-start it using nuclear bombs. Luckily scientific superstar Zimsky knows of the one man who has been developing a vessel (in his shed) to travel to the core.

What a complete pile of far-fetched toss this story is. Ok so I can just about buy blowing an asteroid up with nuclear bombs (although not with NASA's current track record), but this really is silly. Ships that can travel to the Earth's core, starting it with nuclear bombs, forget science this is pure fantasy. But hold on the daftness isn't just confined to the main plot. No, added to this we have a shuttle landing in a storm drain, a massed pigeon attack, and lightening storm that can destroy stone buildings. This isn't a film that you should think about much, or preferably at all.

As you might guess form the opening part of this review The Core is mealy Armageddon turned inside out. Instead of our plucky band of misfits going up, they go down. However you know its only a matter of time until they hit then obligatory problems, and the crew is put at risk. In the meantime of course a number of well-known landmarks get destroyed. As you can see there is nothing slightly new or remotely original in the whole script. I can guarantee you won't just be one step ahead of the plot but four or five. What is particularly funny is the way that characters make them selves dispensable indicating their death is imminent.

Things get no better when you consider the ropey dialogue. There good moments when it works well, but they are surrounded by some cheesy awfulness. A bit like the cast really. Stanley Tucci and Hilary Swank emerge with credit and Delroy Linden is also pretty good. However Christopher Shyer comes across as a poor man's Jeff Daniels, while Tchky Karyo goes well over the top and is terrible. Added to this we have another wooden performance from Bruce Greenwood (see Below), and Alfre Woodard looking like Tina Turner. This is an odd cast indeed.

From all of this you may have surmised that The Core is unwatchable pap. This just isn't the case, it should be, but it isn't. The audio and visuals on display are at some points simply stunning. Some excellent effects shots really do provide the eye candy required. This film looks good, and despite the silly unoriginal plot, poor dialogue, and patchy acting it has the balls to keep on going at such a pace that means you are drawn in. Ok so this is no classic, heck at times it is terrible, but it is eminently watchable.

The Core takes no brain movies to a new level. I should be telling you to avoid this second rate farcical folly, but there is something about this film that goes some distance in papering over its obvious short comings. As far as disaster movies go its not a disaster, and yet its not the savior of the Earth either. It is far fetch ridiculous fun in a bad Fantastic Voyage meets Armageddon sort of way. So if you are prepared to send your brain out for the evening it will give your eyes a treat, but overall don't expect too much.


The only way out is in.


General Percell: How much would it cost to complete it (the core craft)?
Dr. Brazzelton: (laughs) I would need three billion dollars!
General Percell: Would you take a check?

Zimsky: and the core is made of cheese!

Rating: 2 out of 5

Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic Superb picture makes most of the great effects.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Outstanding sound effects, turn your amp up and feel the Earth move.
Features Audio commentary by Jon Amiel
Short Making of featurettes
10 deleted \ extended scenes
Featurette on the visual effects
Verdict The transfer is excellent a real test disc for your sound settup. Other than that there are some good, if limited, extras.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Link Back Top Home