||This article or section may fail to make a clear distinction between fact and fiction. (September 2012)|
Promotional poster for The Core.
|Directed by||Jon Amiel|
|Produced by||Sean Bailey
|Written by||Cooper Layne
|Music by||Christopher Young|
|Editing by||Terry Rawlings|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||March 28, 2003|
|Running time||135 minutes|
The Core is a 2003 American science fiction disaster film. It concerns a team that has to drill to the center of the Earth and set off a series of nuclear explosions in order to restart the rotation of Earth's core. The film was directed by Jon Amiel, and starred Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Stanley Tucci, Tchéky Karyo, DJ Qualls, Bruce Greenwood and Alfre Woodard.
A series of disturbances caused by instability in the Earth's electromagnetic field lead geologist Dr. Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart) and scientists Serge Leveque (Tchéky Karyo) and Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci) learn that the Earth's molten core has stopped rotating; within a year, the Earth's electromagnetic field will collapse, irradiating the planet. The three develop a plan with the United States government to bore into the Earth's core and plant a series of nuclear charges at precise points to restart the core's motion and restore the field. A former colleague-turned-adversary of Professor Zimsky, the rogue scientist Ed "Braz" Brazzelton (Delroy Lindo), has created a substance he calls "Unobtainium" that gets stronger with heat and pressure. They decide to design a multi-compartment nuclear powered vessel Dr. Brazzelton fittingly names Virgil using this new Element. Dr Braz has also developed a laser capable of quickly boring through solid rock. Keyes then enlists the help of computer hacker Theodore Donald "Rat" Finch (DJ Qualls), to keep news of the potential global disaster off the Internet and stem a worldwide panic.
Virgil is piloted by space shuttle Commander Robert Iverson (Bruce Greenwood) and Major Rebecca "Beck" Childs (Hilary Swank). When the team accidentally drills through a geode structure, it drops a considerable distance. When molten lava begins pouring into the hollow from the hole they created, Iverson has to go outside to restart the ship's laser before the lava reaches them, making repairs impossible. After he finishes the repairs, a falling crystal shard hits the top of Iverson's helmet and pierces his skull, killing him instantly.
As Virgil continues, it clips a huge diamond, breaching the hull of the last compartment. Leveque sacrifices himself to save the nuclear launch codes before the compartment is crushed by extreme pressure. Virgil eventually reaches the molten core. The new data they gather there reveals a flaw in the plan. The outer layer of the Earth's Core is less dense than anticipated, and the explosions cannot generate the needed power. After some calculations, they decide that by splitting their nuclear weapons into the remaining compartments and jettisoning each at specific distances, they can create a "ripple effect", where the power of each bomb will push against the blast of the next, generating the needed energy wave. However, because Virgil was not designed to jettison undamaged compartments, the plan requires someone to deactivate a safety switch that is in an area exposed to the extreme temperatures. Brazzelton volunteers- and deactivates the switch, dying shortly afterwards.
Meanwhile on the surface, the public becomes aware of problems after super storms start to cover the world. Finch is unable to stop worldwide panic but instead learns of the top-secret project "DESTINI" (Deep Earth Seismic Trigger INItiative), which is to be deployed if the Virgil mission fails. Finch relays his information to Keyes, who discovers that Zimsky was one of DESTINI's lead scientists. DESTINI, according to Zimsky, was designed as a weapon to propagate earthquakes through the Earth's core, but it has unintentionally stopped its rotation instead. Zimsky reveals the government will use it again to attempt a restart of the core. Keyes is convinced it will have disastrous results, so he has Finch hack into DESTINI's systems- to try to buy time. While working to set up their detonations. Keyes and Zimsky realize they have miscalculated the necessary yield, but Zimsky gets trapped in a detaching compartment. He reveals that they need to use the ship's nuclear fuel Pod to achieve the sufficient yield, which will save the planet but leave Keyes and Childs without power.
Because of the unique properties of the Unobtanium shell of the ship, Keyes and Childs are able to use the planet's heat and pressure to power the command section of the ship, escaping as the nuclear charges successfully restart the core. They break through the crust underwater, leaving them adrift. They believe themselves lost, until Finch finds them by tracking whale songs from a nearby pod circling the vessel. A week after the mission, Finch logs onto a computer at an internet cafe and releases the information about Project DESTINI- the Crew of Virgil- and their mission onto the Internet.
- Aaron Eckhart as Dr. Joshua "Josh" Keyes, a scientist and professor at the University of Berkeley who designs the navigation system for Virgil and is assigned as head of the project.
- Hilary Swank as Major Rebecca "Beck" Childs, USAF, an astronaut who distinguished herself during an emergency crash landing of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in Los Angeles, California.
- Delroy Lindo as Dr. Edward "Braz" Brazzelton, the designer of Virgil and the ultrasonic laser.
- Stanley Tucci as Dr. Conrad Zimsky, Earth specialist and designer of Project D.E.S.T.I.N.I..
- Tchéky Karyo as Dr. Serge Leveque, nuclear weapons specialist.
- Bruce Greenwood as Commander Robert "Bob" Iverson, USN, Major Childs' commander and mentor.
- DJ Qualls as Theodore Donald "Rat" Finch, a computer hacker who is widely regarded as the best in the world, crippled the FBI's database, recruited to control the flow of information on the Internet to prevent public panic.
- Alfre Woodard as Flight Commander Dr. Talma "Stick" Stickley, the mission commander for NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour and Virgil.
- Richard Jenkins as Lieutenant General Thomas Purcell, a lieutenant general in the United States army and leader of the operation.
Critical reaction 
The movie garnered mixed reviews. The film received 41% positive reviews out of 153 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10 at the movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes; the site's consensus states "A B-movie with its tongue planted firmly in cheek, The Core is so unintentionally (intentionally?) bad that it's a hoot." Several reviews cited the numerous scientific inaccuracies in the film. The film made less than half of its production budget back during its time in United States theaters. Internationally it was somewhat more successful; the film made $42,311,715 in the international market and grossed around $73,498,611 worldwide.
Elvis Mitchell, of the New York Times, said, "The brazen silliness of The Core is becalming and inauthentic, like taking a bath in nondairy coffee creamer. The Earth core's inability to turn is mirrored in the cast's inability to give the picture any spin." Kenneth Turan, of the LA Times, was a little more forgiving, saying, "If The Core finally has to be classified as a mess, it is an enjoyable one if you're in a throwback mood. After all, a film that comes up with a rare metal called Unobtainium can't be dismissed out of hand."
On March 30, 2009 it was reported that Dustin Hoffman was leading a campaign to get more real science into science-fiction movies. Hoffman is on the advisory board of the Science & Entertainment Exchange, an initiative of the United States National Academy of Sciences (National Academy of Sciences), intended to foster collaborations between scientists and entertainment industry professionals in order to minimize inaccurate representations of science and technology such as those found in The Core.
In a poll of hundreds of scientists about bad science fiction films, The Core was voted the worst.
On February 21, 2010, The Guardian ran an article about American professor Sidney Perkowitz's proposals to curb bad science in science fiction movies. In the article, Perkowitz is said to have hated The Core. "If you violate [the coherent rules of science] you are in trouble. The chances are that the public will pick it up and that is what matters to Hollywood. The Core did not make money because people understood the science was so out to lunch," he added.
- Mitchell, Elvis (2003-03-28). "Movie Review - 'The Core' - Trying to Jump-Start the Earth's Heart". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "'The Core' - MOVIE REVIEW - Los Angeles Times". calendarlive.com. 2003-03-28. Retrieved 2010-03-02.[dead link]
- "'Actor Dustin Hoffman lobbies for more reality in science-fiction movies'". News.com.au. 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Ian Sample (2010-02-21). "Drive to make Hollywood obey the laws of science | Film". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Core|
- The Core at AllRovi
- The Core at Box Office Mojo
- The Core at the Internet Movie Database
- The Core at Metacritic
- Review of The physics of The Core at Bad Astronomy
- Review of the Core at Intuitor.com