Published on June 1st, 2008 | by simeon0
Hollywood has had long had a fascination with disaster films, and the genre had its heyday in the 1970’s with producer Irwin Allen’s star-studded disaster epics. Films such as “The Towering Inferno”, “Earthquake”, “The Poseidon Adventure” and the “Airport” films all followed a successful formula of large casts who found themselves pitted in a battle for survival against the elements and themselves in situations of epic disasters.
While the disaster film genre faded in the 1980’s. It was rejuvenated in the 1990’s with films such as “Twister”, “Volcano” “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon” The latter films upped the anti from regional disasters to events of global proportions thanks in no small part to the broadening of the global box office.
With the summer movie season only a few weeks away, the first of the big-budget movies for the season is upon audiences with “The Core”. The film’s opening details how a series of events ranging from odd and aggressive animal behaviors to people dropping dead for no apparent reason has caused the government to call in specialists Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), and Sergei Leveque (Tcheky Karyo), to access if the strange happenings are the result of an attack by a new weapon or just random occurrences. As the mystery of the events is pondered when an attack is ruled out, a space shuttle crashes into a Los Angles riverbed due to magnetic interference of the ships guidance and navigation systems, the powers that be still think that everything is fine. This all changes when Keyes consults scientist and government advisor Dr. Zimsky (Stanley Tucci), and conclude that the core of the Earth has stopped spinning and this will eventually cause the protective electromagnetic layer of the planet to dissolve allowing solar radiation, heat, and microwave storms to destroy everything on the planet within a year.
With no time to spare, the government assembles a team of experts to construct an experimental ship to travel to the core of the planet so that it might be restarted with nuclear bombs.
The ships is the dream child of doctor Brazelton (Delroy Lindo), who was a former partner of Zimsky and has fumed away the last twenty years designing his ship while Zimsky has risen to celebrity status with certain ideas that have their origin in Brazelton’s work.
The ship is placed in the capable hands of Col. Robert Iverson (Bruce Greenwood), and Maj. Rebecca Childs (Hillary Swank) as they team with Zimsky, Brazelton, Keyes and Leveque to save the planet.
Naturally all manner of personality and conflicts of interest arise amongst certain members of the crew and instead of creating tension, the poorly developed characters and thin storyline causes the audience to have little concern for the characters, as there are few surprises in store. It does not take a genius to guess that Zimsky will put his own interests ahead of the others and that Maj. Childs will have to face her fear of being faced with a situation that she cant win, and having to make the hard choice. To this mix is the certainty that the government may be withholding information about what has damaged the core, and most viewers will have figured out where this film is heading.
While “The Core” does have some decent FX, and may be enjoyable for those in the mood for a no-brainer film, the lack of any character development, suspense, or accurate science, will leave this film grounded in the could have been file.
2.5 stars out of 5