Postmortem: The Core (2003)

Jon Amiel’s The Core wasn’t a success at the time, which is a pity because it’s pretty engaging. It plays very much in Irwin Allen wheelhouse, except on a greater scale.

What’s also important is that Amiel brings a humanity to his characters typically missing from such movies, so despite a pretty ample amount of CGI–it gets heavy about a third of the way through–it’s not at the cost of the performances.

And what a cast!  Actors like Delroy Lindo, Hillary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, Stanley Tucci and Tchéky Karyo elevate material that would under most circumstances come off a bit schlocky.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (another way of saying that due to the United States military meddling with things they shouldn’t causes the problem in the first place) the molten metal that surrounds the Earth’s core has stopped rotating, which according to the logic of the movie–which may or may not be true, I have no idea–is creating all sorts of freak weather occurrences, such as lightning storms beyond anything seen before, and issues for animals that rely upon the planet’s electromagnetic field for navigation, like birds, whales and dolphins.

I forgot to mention that the electromagnetic field that protects the planet from lethal solar radiation is also powered by the rotation of the molten mantle, so if it stops, the protective envelope will eventually dissipate as well.

So the Military finances the creation of a submersible named the Virgil that, instead of water, is designed to penetrate the Earth’s crust.

The mission ends up greater than any member of the craft, and I understand that; though the movie is particularly quick to sacrifice certain crew members when the script requires it–though Lindo isn’t the first to do so, which is something, I guess.

As I implied, there’s a logic, but that doesn’t make it any less irritating though overall The Core is a pretty fascinating movie.