The Core (2003)

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Good God, don’t disasters hit the non-tourist areas.

The Core (2003): 4 out of 10: Disaster movies always seem to do better when the disaster is local in scope. A city threatened by avalanche, a tower threatened by an inferno, a Poseidon threatened by an adventure, that kind of thing. Earth killer movies are always a harder road. 

You have your 4 standard horseman of the earth disaster; nuclear war, space invaders, plagues (esp. those that create zombies), and meteors. Lately, earth killing movies have gotten creative and lets face it stupid, global warming (The Day after Tomorrow), President George W Bush (Fahrenheit 9/11) and now The Core with its well… I’m still not sure what broke. 

The core of the earth stopped spinning (not the earth itself, mind you) which is causing the electromagnetic field to dissipate. Okay, that sounds serious. So that would cause what, exactly? Apparently the movie wasn’t all that sure, so we get scenes of some of the lamest and implausible disasters ever. Let’s put two under the scientific microscope, shall we?

One involves birds going all Hitchcock in London due to their inability to navigate using the magnetic field. Okay, that may affect the birds’ ability to fly south (Oh my god, the pigeons they’re going east!), but even the Mr. Magoo of the avian world wouldn’t start flying into statues and buses.

In another all too short montage, a lightning storm destroys the Roman Coliseum. I’m not sure what is more unlikely, lighting striking relatively short rock structures, or the granite exploding when it does. Lightning, last time I checked, was attracted to metal. 

But what would you expect from a movie that puts a giant windshield in a rock-drilling machine (Made with that magic metal Unobtainium). Keep in mind, I’ve only scratched the surface of the silliness. 

Acting wise Stanley Tucci is a joy and everyone else is forgettable. The Core is enjoyable in that bad 50s sci-fi kind of way. But they needed more (and more plausible) disasters, and much less of well everything else.


I know the trailer’s job is to make the film seem exciting, but even a trailer cannot hide the complete fail of both concept and execution.


Lots of dreamy shots of Aaron Eckhart and Bruce Greenwood. Also, some of Hilary Swank, who for some reason is considerably less dreamy in the film. Plenty of fun snark below as well. The Core is very riffable and is ripe for such fun activities as guessing who dies next. (Pro tip pick the Black Guy)

Let me just make my announcement here in front of these completely non-obtrusive and certainly not product placement vending machines.
Okay, I understand that this is a temporary morgue. But why are the vehicles in the back here? Are they dead as well?
Okay, here we go, we got a real pressure cooker going here
Two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the ninth ,
There’s the windup, and there it is
A line shot up the middle, look at him go
This boy can really fly. OMG is that the Space Shuttle?
Honestly, it is rare that a “real” movie uses the LA River.
Okay Headphones = Isolation was a bit funny in True Lies, but I am not sure I am buying this one.
Aaron Eckhart is either explaining the earth’s core to a group of military generals and scientists using a peach or we have walked in on his Sex Ed class rehearsal,
DJ Qualls was a thing in the early aughts who had seven movies released in 2002. How he never got cast for Dobby in the Harry Potter movies can only really be explained by overt racism on the Harry Potter producers part.
Ahh, exploding things that would never explode in real life. The Pinto of buildings.
This is supposed to be Rome? It looks like it got hit by a Wayback Machine.
Stanley Tucci may steal the movie, but Aaron Eckhart is dreamy. Yes, I said it.
Okay, Bruce Greenwood is also dreamy.
The Golden Gate bridge is statistically the most dangerous place to be in any disaster movie. But he has a picture of his family on the dashboard, so I am sure he will be fine.
And the Golden Gate Bridge is destroyed by rays of sunshine… Okay, I am going to have to see the movies manager.
I am not sure they would allow smoking in a machine drilling to the earth’s core. But you be you movie.
I know the floor is lava, but is that guy floating?
Even the characters in the film are playing the who dies next game. My money is on Delroy Lindo. (Who gives a good performance in an awful film for what it is worth.)

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