THE CORE is the first fun-friendly popcorn movie of 2003. Like all good popcorn movies, it has lots of excitement, lots of humor and lots of just plain fun.
The movie opens with 32 people with pacemakers suddenly dropping dead within a mile radius in Boston. Government and military officials call upon geophysicist Josh Keyes and his friend, atomic scientist Serge Leveque, to tell them what happened. Josh suspects some kind of natural electromagnetic pulse, not a weapon, and tells them so. Thank you very much; that’s all we wanted to know, a general tells them.
Perplexed, Josh goes back to work at the University of Illinois. When a group of birds in Rome, however, lose their sense of direction, crashing into windows, buildings and statues, Josh suspects something has gone wrong with the earth’s electromagnetic field. Working with his team of graduate students, Josh discovers that the earth’s molten core has stopped rotating. As a result, the planet’s electromagnetic field, which shields the earth from deadly solar radiation and static discharge, will collapse, creating devastating “super-storms” and planet-destroying microwave radiation.
Terrified by his findings, Josh seeks out the opinion of renowned geophysicist Conrad Zimsky, an arrogant scientist who comes to the same conclusion. Together, they tell government officials that the only way to reactivate the core is to travel to it. Josh believes this is impossible, but Dr. Zimsky knows a man who just might be able to do it.
Josh, Zimsky and Josh’s friend Serge approach scientist Ed Brazzleton, who has developed an untested subterranean craft that can bore into the earth’s crust and explode the necessary atomic weapons to start the core spinning again. Now it is up to Josh, Zimsky, Serge, Brazzleton, and astronauts Major Rebecca Childs and Commander Robert Iverson to travel into the earth’s core using a souped-up version of Brazzleton’s vehicle.
THE CORE uses lots of humor to set up its fantastic story, which is full of eye-popping special effects. One spectacular early sequence has Commander Iverson and Major Childs having to pilot a space shuttle into a major city when the electromagnetic disturbances begin to hit the earth’s atmosphere. Happily, the humor and excitement doesn’t stop there!
All the actors do a fine job of delineating the differences among their characters, which causes a fair amount of fun friction between them. Stanley Tucci, as the pompous Dr. Zimsky is particularly funny, but Aaron Eckhart as the heroic leader Dr. Keyes gets in some funny lines of his own.
Credit for all this must go to the excellent script by Cooper Layne and John Rogers, as well as the edge-of-your-seat direction by Jon Amiel, who hasn’t been entirely successful to date. Of course, the movie’s superb special effects and editing by Terry Rawlings (ALIEN, BLADE RUNNER and CHARIOTS OF FIRE) are an added bonus.
THE CORE does, however, contain plenty of light foul language and a couple strong profanities. There is also one scene with a crucially placed “f” word, which sometimes happens in a movie rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Aside from the foul language problem, THE CORE has no sex scenes, no gory scenes, and the violence is light, mostly nature versus man rather than man versus man.
Best of all, THE CORE provides moviegoers with an exciting tale of human heroism. The movie’s strong moral worldview also includes at least three positive references to God, including one scene where an army officer wishes Major Childs, “God speed.”
All in all, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends THE CORE, but with a caution because of its foul language, especially for children age 12 to 14 and under. There is also some light environmentalist content in the movie, as when one character makes a comment about how starting the core spinning again helps the planet heal itself.
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(BB, E, LLL, V, N, M) Strong moral worldview, including about three positive references to God, but with some environmentalist elements, including a comment about the planet "healing itself"; 13 mostly light obscenities, one "f" word and 11 exclamatory profanities, some of them borderline; some action violence includes vehicle crashes, vehicles tumble off melting bridge, fierce lighting storms destroy buildings, birds fly into windows and other things, ship hits objects, man falls into molten lava, atomic bombs exploded to start earth's core spinning again, man punches hysterical man to knock him out, objects fall on men, one man starts to get squeezed by collapsing capsule, and little boy scared; no sex scenes but one brief kiss; upper male nudity as man's recovering from being unconscious; no alcohol or smoking; and, miscellaneous problems such as computer hacking and one person says, "Good luck" but adds "and God speed."
GENRE: Science Fiction