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Ridiculously good fun

This throwback to the disaster movies of the 505 and 605 (see When Worlds Collide, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, etc) maintains those films‘ sense of the ridiculous barely masked by hokey scientific jargon. But director Jon Amiel and his scriptwriters wisely opt to underplay the more ludicrous moments with humourous one-liners. Thus, when an electromagnetic shockwave scrambles the navigation systems aboard a space shuttle returning home and the hapless crew are forced to land in downtown LA, skipper Bruce Greenwood exclaims with poker face: ‘I ain‘t gonna crash into Los Angeles.‘ Applaud that line of dialogue.

As the Earth is subjected to a series of increasing destructive electromagnetic storms, which swiftly move from scrambling electrical circuits to levelling cities (Crack! Boom! Bye bye Rome), it becomes clear to a group of scientists brought together by the US military that the planet‘s molten core has stopped rotating. This is really bad: within a year the electromagnetic field generated by the rotating core, which protects Earth from interstellar radiation, will vanish and the planet will make like a pudding in a microwave oven. Thus, a group of ‘terranauts‘ lead by Aaron Eckhart's boffin and Hilary Swank‘s NASA pilot burrow to the centre of the Earth in a nuclear-powered drill to set off a couple of hundred megatons of ordinance, get the planet‘s heart spinning again and save six billion lives.

None of this entertaining tosh is to be taken seriously, but I'd dearly love to employ a little feminist theory to The Core, with its uptight men in a nuclear phallus, blasting their way to the womb of Mother Earth to save the

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Pushes the boundaries of cinema

.'.'r:' ' ,»'~; ' .' iTHE LIST 25