On a sunny Thursday afternoon in April 2003, Laneit, his girlfriend, and I decided we wanted to see a movie before we picked up our buddy John from work.
The question was which movie to see since our choices were: “Head of State,” “Bringing Down the House,” and “The Core.” Not exactly the Mount Rushmore of films.
After arguing for a while, we decided on the sci-fi flick, “The Core.” It was either that, or watching Chris Rock scream at the camera again. I can’t remember for sure, but I don’t believe any of us knew anything about the plot of “The Core” before we headed to the movies. If we had seen the trailer ahead of time, it certainly did not make an impression of any kind.
For those who have not heard about “The Core,” the plot goes something like this: the Earth’s core has stopped spinning, and in less than a year the planet will lose its electromagnetic shield and we’ll all be toast–fried by solar microwaves.
And in case that’s too hard to understand, the movie makes it easy to follow with dialogue like this: “The Earth’s core has stopped spinning!” and “one plane will fall from the sky, then two, then, in a few month, anything, everything electronic will be fried.”
To make that point clear to a panel of U.S. military men and government officials, Professor Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart) of the University of Chicago borrows a can of room freshener, sets the propellant alight with his Bic, and incinerates a peach. I’m not sure the destruction of a peach was necessary, but it did bring out a lot of gasp and “oooohs” from the audience in the theatre.
The look of absolute horror on the faces of the military guys was too much for Laneit and I, and we did what any normal person would do: we burst out laughing, and it would not be the last time we did so.
I will admit that despite a slew of flaws, “The Core” does have a rather good cast featuring Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Stanley Tucci, Tchéky Karyo, Bruce Greenwood and Alfre Woodard.
Each is a specialist in something or other, and are essential for the plot. But I think Derlroy Lindo wins the gold medal because in the movie he invents a new metal named, I am not making this up, Unobtainium. He also creates a laser thing that can cut through solid rock. Delroy combines the metal and a laser device into a snaky craft that looks like an expensive plunger named Virgil.
With a crew, a couple of Delroy’s toys, and a $50 billion check from the United States, the military launches a probe to the Earth’s core. The team’s mission is to set off a couple of nuclear explosions that (they hope) will restart the core. Assuming they survive the trip of course.
There was even more laughter from Laneit and I when we saw the Earth’s innards were depicted like a Jefferson Airplane video, but we thought it was wonderful that the crew had a windshield so they could see out as they drill through dense matter.
Eventually they reach a depth where the pressure is 800,000 pounds per square inch, but that’s nothing for the special suits they use to walk around outside. I don’t know what their suits are made of, but it must be stronger and more flexible than Unobtainium, perhaps corduroy. Whatever they suits are made of, they should really get them in stores in time for Christmas.
I should note that by this point in the movie Laneit and I were close to peeing pur pants from laughing so much, and the old lady two rows up started to hush us. Then Lanei’t girlfriend told us to keep it down. And we would have to, but when Aaron Eckhart lost it after his French buddy died.
Quite frankly, this one scene should have won the man an Academy Award. The raw emotion he shows, the sobbing, the screaming, the over acting. All of which made laneit laugh even louder.
Anyways, “The Core” is not good movie, but if you ever need some cheering up, this movie might do the trick. Just make sure you have plenty of Hot Pockets on hand to snack on.