Disaster flick, take me away
The latest Hollywood disaster film The Core is just what you might expect
I’m a sucker for disaster movies. Iconic landmarks blowing up real good floats my boat (or at least flips it upside down, as Ernest Borgnine sweats and tries to chew his way through the hull). With that in mind, would I say that The Core is good? Sure. It’s as silly as all get out, but as a disaster movie it more or less delivers. Baghdad by the Bay burns! Birds attack tubby American tourists in Trafalgar Square! Lightning further ruins the Roman ruins!
Is it great? Nope. The money shots of the Golden Gate Bridge getting cooked by microwaves feel awkwardly tacked on, as if the filmmakers started out trying to make a rousing sci-fi adventure à la Fantastic Voyage, but the studio demanded more mayhem. Not that I mind. I enjoy having huge chunks of the Coliseum thrown at me as the THX-stressed speakers rattle the theater. But if you’re a pedant, The Core is gonna give you plenty to scream back at the screen about.
Seems some top-secret military toy has caused the Earth’s core to stop spinning, dooming all humanity to a crispy-critter fate within the year. So, à la Armageddon, a crack team of genre stereotypes is gathered and sent off on a journey to the center of the Earth with a payload of nuclear bombs to “jump-start” the core (although they seem to have missed the requirement that they have to walk toward the camera in slow motion before boarding their craft). And, in accordance with genre rules, attrition occurs in reverse order of billing. No surprises here, but with a certain self-deprecating humor (as one ill-fated terranaut floats off on a sea of magma, a horrified crewmember shouts, “Bob? Bob! BOB!"), The Core delivers on the limited expectations of the genre.