The Core

Starring: Aaron Eckart, Hilary Swank and Delroy Lindo
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99

PHE 8261
Certificate: 12
Available now

When strange phenomena start to occur on Earth, the World's best scientists are brought in to discover what is going on. It appears that the Earth's core has stopped spinning and that all life on the planet will be wiped out within a year. Six of the greatest scientists are gathered to go on a mission - one that they will never receive any recognition for - to burrow to the centre of the Earth and kick-start the core into spinning again...

From the opening sequence - where an inordinately large number of residents in a city drop dead when their pacemakers all fail at the same time - this movie grips the audience. Moving on to Trafalgar Square in London, a flock of pigeons run amuck dive bombing tourists (no doubt Ken Livingston, anti-pigeon Major of London, will love this scene).

Worried that these events were somehow caused by a terrorist weapon, the US calls together its greatest scientists to come up with the reason why these events are unfolding. When they do they realise they have to bore to the centre of the Earth and detonate an nuclear explosion to save us all.

Yes, I know it sounds incredibly far fetched and you will need to suspend disbelief for the majority of this movie. But if you do you will find this an enjoyable romp.

Thankfully the movie steers fairly well clear of too many disaster movie clichés. The crumbling buildings and collapsing major landmarks are all present and correct, but their inclusion is kept to a minimum. Instead the director concentrates more on the relationships between the lead actors - who as you may have already guessed are picked off one by one as they near the centre of the Earth.

There are some great performances from the mostly unknown cast, but sadly there is not really much time to get to know the first crew member who is killed too early for us to really feel any sympathy towards his passing.

This a great shame, because that first death should have had more impact - as the others slowly fall off you become resigned to the fact, and the first death really should have shocked a little more.

The computer effects generated for the inside of the Earth are interesting and the vessel used to make their journey is well designed - but not good enough to provide spin-off movie merchandise.

The Core may not be the most thought proving movie to be released but in a genre that hold very few surprises it delivers a few new twists. Entertaining.

Extras include director's commentary by Jon Amiel; To The Core And Back: The Making of The Core featurette; Deconstruction of visual effects; Deleted and extended scenes with director's commentary.

Nick Smithson

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