The Core

The Core (2003) is a science fiction disaster movie very loosely based on the novel Core by Paul Preuss. It's about a team who have to drill to the center of the Earth and set off a series of nuclear explosions in order to start the Earth's core spinning again. The Core was directed by Jon Amiel, and starred Aaron Eckhart, Delroy Lindo, Hilary Swank, and Stanley Tucci.

The film received low critical reviews, primarily due to being a by-the-numbers disaster movie with a B-movie look and feel and dubious pseudo-science. Audiences responded similarly, and it did very poorly at the box-office. Intuitor writes in its review:

The Core is a marvel. It has everything: common physics misconceptions, blatant misrepresentations of physical laws, a complete range of stereotypes, ridiculous feats of engineering, and pure fabrication of scientific "facts". The weighty or sad parts are so inane, they made us laugh out loud. The dialog, plot, and action are predictable, if not outright tedious. Yet, the bad physics provide nonstop surprises. It's the worst physics movie we've ever viewed. It's so bad, it's almost entertaining.


Strange things are happening on Earth's surface - everybody with a pacemaker drops dead at once within a 10-block radius. The pigeons in London's Trafalgar Square lose their internal navigational ability and start smashing into windscreens and breaking panes of glass.

The world soon realises the cause of these anomalies: Earth's core has stopped rotating. Within a year, the Earth will lose its electromagnetic shield and will be fried by solar radiation.

A team of "terranauts" is recruited to drill down to Earth's core and set off a series of nuclear explosions hopefully to restart the core's rotation. To aid their $15 billion journey, they use a newly-developed "sonic laser" that can cut through rock and an indestructible metal called "Unobtainium".

While they are underground, the world is struck by more disasters. Huge microwaves from the sun invade the atmosphere, melting the Golden Gate Bridge and frying San Francisco. Gigantic lightning bolts tear up the streets of Rome and blast the Colosseum to smitherines.

The base of the drilling experiments is in the Utah desert. The government also has a secret facility in Alaska with which they can start earthquakes anywhere on the planet.


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