The Core

Astronauts journey to the center of the Earth, where cliches run free. Wags are already tagging this space opera as "Armageddon in the dirt." Fair enough, since Maj. Rebecca "Beck" Childs (Hilary Swank) and her team must go underground to save the world. It seems the Earth's core has stopped spinning, either by accident or by terrorist design. It's hell on pigeons, monuments and people with pacemakers.

What to do? The planet will be cooked by solar radiation unless Beck and her terranauts, including cutie geophysicist Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), stalwart Cmdr. Robert Iverson (Bruce Greenwood), nutty professor Ed "Braz" Brazzelton (Delroy Lindo) and braggart scientist Conrad Zimsky (hammed to the hilt by Stanley Tucci) bore their vessel into the ground and detonate a nuclear device that will set things right again.p>f you don't know where director Jon Amiel (Entrapment) is going with this script of stereotypes, you're the prime target audience for The Core. Trailers for the film were pulled after the Columbia tragedy, but The Core — with its by-the-numbers plot and performances — isn't offensive, just unblushingly tacky and derivative.

From The Archives Issue 920: April 17, 2003