Mindless fun seems to be the only way to get people into the theaters this year, so far at least, but the trend seems like it will continue this summer where the plot will be as thin as a hair, and plot points will be tied together with seemingly impossible outcomes, but none more improbable, nor mindless than The Core.

And if you take me previous statement into regard as me bashing this new movie from Paramount, don’t, because I had an excellent time watching this flick, even with it’s blatantly obvious holes, and changing scientific notions.

The Core primarily suffers from what will be forever known as the “Armageddon Syndrome” where the film makers take a two hour movie and cram as many traumatic events and problems as they can think of sitting on the toilet and then confine the characters to jump from problem to problem and overcome them. Armageddon featured the space shuttle crashing, the drill locking up, the bomb activating, etc. and The Core doesn’t stray too far away from this formula as characters are numbered for their death order, and when all is said and done everyone learns a lesson.

The Core has a team of six burrowing deep within the earth to reach, you guessed it, the core. It seems as though a secret government project developed by Dr. Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci) has stopped the rotation of the earth’s core, breaking up the magnetic field that protects us from the sun’s solar radiation, and controls the environmental variables in the sky, in essence, without the core, the earth will be dead in a year. So the United States (as always stepping in for the world) finances a ship, the Virgil, developed by Dr. Edward Brazleton (Delroy Lindo) to careen to the center of the earth and detonate a nuclear bomb. In theory this will restart the earth’s core, and all will be saved. If it were only that easy.

Along for the ride is Col. Robert Iverson (Bruce Greenwood) and Major Rebecca “Beck” Childs (Hilary Swank) who just recently landed the space shuttle in the L.A. River in a shot that was supposedly under speculation to be cut after the Columbia disaster in February, only a few clips were reportedly cut from the final print of the film. Also on board is Sergei Levenque (Tcheky Karyo, who can’t seem to survive any movie he is in) as the ship’s weapons specialist, and the hero of the movie, Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart) who discovered the planet’s problem.

The money shots come in the form of some spectacular CG work. Two notable, and highly publicized, parts are the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge and the destruction of the Roman Coliseum. These shots undoubtfully took a lot of man hours to produce and it shows, especially the bridge being destroyed.

The Core’s biggest problem is the fact that the science just doesn’t stay constant through the entire movie, if you can even call it science. There are times that had me wondering why they did something, after stating it was impossible, and other times you wonder if the writers had any common sense at all.

The surprising aspect of this movie is how closely it mirrors Armageddon. The Bruce Willis actioner had drilling, space shuttles being destroyed, a nuclear bomb, crystals, and a foreigner who saves the mission. The Core has every one of these, and if you watched the two movies in parallel you would find an amazing amount of nuances that resemble each other. Not to say, once again, that copying a good popcorn flick is a bad idea, you just usually have to give it a few more years before people are able to forget the first one.

The Core does stand out as a decent movie, when I ultimately thought I was walking into a bomb. Even with the forgivable plot holes, uninspired characters, and bad luck event after bad luck event, you really like this movie at the end, especially when watching a very well done credit sequence.

This movie won’t make you think anymore than it does to sort through your ancient collection of Pogs, but it will give you a two hour, explosion filled thrill ride that will keep you entertained and waiting for a big, bad DVD release.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!