3 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 127 minutes
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The only truly interesting aspect found in “The Core” is Jon Amiel’s thoughts as to what the inner parts of Earth might look like. As professor Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), Major Rebecca “Beck” Childs (Hilary Swank), Commander Robert Iverson (Bruce Greenwood), Dr. Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci). Dr. Ed “Brazz” Brazzelton (Delroy Lindo), and Dr. Sergei Leveque (Tcheky Karyo) head toward the core of the Earth, we are treated to crystal formations, plenty of lava, and black chunks of something shown on the monitors in their ship that turn out to be diamonds the size of “Cape Cod”, as Childs puts it. Jules Verne need not check in here.
Many events occur on our planet in “The Core” that make military brass and others believe that the Earth is in serious trouble. In Boston, during Green Earth Day, 32 people with pacemakers suddenly drop dead. In London’s Trafalgar Square, the perfect sequel to Hitchcock’s “The Birds” is shown as pigeons dive and crash all over the place, their own navigational aids screwed up. And the space shuttle Endeavor, first headed for Edwards Air Force Base, heads toward a river basin and crash lands there. Those signs should certainly say something, shouldn’t they?
After being dismissed by General Purcell (Richard Jenkins) after his quick thinking about the 32 dead people proves that it was not an enemy action, Keyes is called back to figure out this new problem and then the film is split into 3 easily identifiable acts: Figure out the problem, build something to combat the problem, and then get into the core of the Earth to fix the problem. The “something:” to combat the problem is Virgil, something already created, but never finished by Dr. Brazzelton. It is a terracraft, for lack of a better word, meaning (at least to me) a vehicle that can go deep into the Earth especially deeper, in the case of this one. The mission begins and as always, many of the crewmembers die off and there is no effort to differentiate the order in which they die. You can easily choose the order and it’s likely you will be right. We are also treated in one scene to the biggest piece of overacting by Stanley Tucci that he has ever done. You think he overdid it in America’s Sweethearts 6 minutes in? Wait ‘till you get to this. Obviously that problem must also be credited to Amiel, who should have stopped Tucci somewhere on down the line, but didn’t.
The only other two seemingly important characters here are Stickley (Alfre Woodard), head of Mission Control for this mission and Rat (D.J. Qualls), a computer hacker who has 3 strikes against him, but is called in to control the flow of information on the Internet in regards to this, which isn’t much, but he plays a big part later on in trying to stop a plan that the General wants to put into action.
Hilary Swank, one of the most beautiful actresses to grace the screen today is always a pleasure to watch and Eckhart likely took on his role to get more exposure in the movies, which is ok because his character is entertaining.
That’s really all there is to say about “The Core”, with the exception of one thing; that being Christopher Young’s music, which is far too overdone, much like a part of Tucci’s acting in the “terracraft”. It tries to sound emotional when emotion is not needed and can sound more like bad screeching, depending which sound system is operating at whatever theater you go to. In that case, it’s not the sound system’s fault.
“The Core” is decent in its special effects and has the advantage of having Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart in it as opposed to starring a superstar “flavor of the week”, but to quote “Sleepless In Seattle”, it is a quick H&G: Hi and goodbye.

Posted on April 1, 2003 in Reviews by

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