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A.J.'s Rating: 3.5 Electromagnetic Stars
The Core
Directed By:  Jon Amiel
Written By:  Cooper Layne, John Rodgers
Starring:  Aaron Eckhart, Nicole Leroux, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Stanley Tucci,
DJ Qualls, Tchéky Karyo, Richard Jenkins, Bruce Greenwood, Alfre Woodard
Rated:  PG-13 (sci-fi life/death situations and brief strong language)
Running Time:  115 Min.
     Just in time for the pre-summer season comes The Core, or, as I like to call it, Armaged-again.  Actually, to be perfectly fair, I must admit that The Core is nothing like Armageddon.  It's more like Deep Impact.  This time though, the danger comes not from a big rock hurtling toward the Earth, but from that big iron rock inside it.  Yes, you guessed it... it's Deeper Impact
    As with all movies of this type, we begin with a thrilling scenerio of certain doom.  It seems that the core of the Earth has stoppped rotating.  Gee, I wonder how that happened?  Now, Mankind has less than a year before the planet becomes an uninhabitable hunk of interstellar charcoal.  Luckily, there is still a glimmer of hope, as all faith is placed, as it always is, on a risky plan devised by a rag-tag group of brilliant misfits.  Their mission is to reach the core, and jump-start the planet before all is lost!
    Its biggest departure from Armageddon is The Core's complete lack of respect for the M-TV generation.  Believe it or not, this movie actually takes the time to tell a decent story!  This is an old-fashioned fantasy-adventure, much in the spirit of Jules Verne classics like Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  In other words, don't expect a blistering pace or a barrage of high-tech wizardry.
    However, don't misunderstand!  This is not to say that The Core is a bore!  Along with good storytelling and surprisingly solid sounding techo-babble, The Core also delivers some great thrills, campy humor, good acting, and even some character development.  All of this, and fantastic visual-effects, too!  I especially liked The Core's inner-space ship, which seems to have been designed without the input of any merchandising executives.  Basically, it's a laser-guided, nuclear-powered, hole-boring freight train.  Try fitting that into a 'Happy Meal'! 
    As far as the characters are concerned, my favorite was Dr. Zimsky, played by Stanley Tucci.  Imagine Dr. Smith from Lost in Space, the television series, but with an even bigger ego.  Not quite as interesting was our main hero, Josh Keyes, played by Aaron Eckhart.  I kept thinking how perfect Scott Bakula would have been as Keyes in this inner-space adventure, were he not already in outer-space on television's Enterprise.
    So, while it may not be a big blockbuster, The Core is still a fantastic, fun and entertaining ride.  If you're into classic science-fiction and still have an attention span, then you should be into The Core, as well.
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Review published
March 29, 2003
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