20th Anniversary TLDR: The Core (2003)
Feel free to throw up. I know I did.
Plot: Geophysicist Dr. Josh Keyes discovers that an unknown force has caused the earth’s inner core to stop rotating. With the planet’s magnetic field rapidly deteriorating, our atmosphere literally starts to come apart at the seams with catastrophic consequences. To resolve the crisis, Keyes, along with a team of the world’s most gifted scientists, travel into the earth’s core. Their mission: detonate a device that will reactivate the core.
Direction: Director Jon Amiel made a series of movies that got more and more ridiculous until that bubble burst with The Core. Seriously, look at the five-film run ending with this movie: Sommersby (1993), Copycat (1995), The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997), Entrapment (1999), The Core (2003).
Screenplay: John Rogers went on to give us Catwoman (2003) and Transformers (2007) and Cooper Layne's next movie was the remake of The Fog (2005) if you want any idea of what we're working with here.
Special Effects: I understand it was 2003, the era of Playstation 1 graphics. I get it. However, I genuinely believe that Madden 04 is more immersive.
Performances: This is a cast with countless accolades (I say countless because I actually just stopped counting their Academy Award recognitions): Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Stanley Tucci, Bruce Greenwood, Alfre Woodard, and Richard Jenkins. Too bad they have nothing to do. The best chemistry in this movie is between Eckhart and Swank's hair.
Best moment: Spoiler! Serge's heroic sacrificial death. It's actually quite touching and effective.
Fun fact: DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING NOW? See: here, here, and here.
Imaginary accolade: Best (and Only) Movie We Watched in My 9th Grade Geology Class (side note: I love teachers. I am one, so I have nothing but love. But if this movie is both bad and scientifically inaccurate gonzo garbage - why did she show it in an educational setting? There was an Astronomy teacher/head basketball coach who notoriously showed Star Wars during the basketball playoffs and I believe that's actually significantly easier to justify.)
Everything is too long. Is it too long? They have a lot to jam into our two-hour runtime, so while some moments feel forced or rushed, it's basically impossible to make a movie like this any shorter.
Rating: One-and-a-half nukes out of five.
Credit: Plot synopsis from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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