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Friday, February 21 12:00 AM EST

Trailer Review: The Core

By Brian Briggs


Starring Aaron Eckhart
Hilary Swank
Director Jon Amiel
Official Site Link
US Opening November 1, 2002
March 28, 2003
Rated PG-13
Genre Sci-Fi/Action
Trailer Cliché Hero walk, quick cut ending, exploding landmarks, debris flying at the screen.
Explosions 2
Weapons Earthquake maker, electrical superstorms, flying cables, collapsing bridges, lightning.
Voice Over Yes
"In a world where..." "It was a secret government program..."
"Until something went wrong..."
Spoilage Factor 40%
Geek Factor 80% (geek, sci-fi topic, special effects)
See Trailer? Yes, especially if you saw the dreadful original trailer.
See Movie? Can you suspend your disbelief for 100 minutes?

I started writing this review back in September. I didn't quite finish in time, so I skipped the trailer review that week. Good thing. The Core wasn't released last November as scheduled, but will be released in March, reportedly to give it more time for the special effects wizards to make things purty. I don't know how much better the movie will be but the trailer certainly is better. The original I reviewed looked like a B-movie gone Hollywood. My comments in the "See the Trailer" category were "Only for a laugh." This one is much better.

The conflict is man vs. nature. Man started creating earthquakes on his own and now The core of the earth has stopped spinning. As the main character tells us this will lead to "Everyone on earth...dead in a year." He says it like it's somehow a bad thing. But wait! There's a way to get the core spinning again. Blow up a 1000 megaton nuclear warhead.

In sci-fi trailers you have to suspend disbelief. I just couldn't get my brain around how a 1000 megaton nuclear explosion would get the earth's core spinning again? Now, maybe if superman were to fly around the earth's core really fast then it would start spinning again, but there's no superman in this one.

The Core draws on two other successful action trailers for that psychological bump to get you to the box office. The exploding Colosseum with rocks flying toward the screen is reminiscent of Independence Day when the aliens blew up the White House. I remember thinking, "Cool they blew up the White House." This time I thought, "Oh, that's like Independence Day." The curse of the unoriginal.

Next we get a collapsing Golden Gate Bridge and cables flying towards someone's windshield. I'm reminded of the scenes in Twister with tornadoes whipping debris towards the cars. Dear Special FX Wizards, We realize you've mastered objects hurtling towards windshields. Can we get to the next effect du jour?

The Wacky Hacker

A bothersome glitch throughout the trailer was the horrible sound editing. Several times it was like a Speak 'n' Spell was doing the lines.

Finally the star of the show appears: The Hacker. He's your typical nerdling. Can't Hollywood break some stereotypes now and again? They want him to handle the information flow, he responds "You want me to hack the planet?" and like any stereotypical geek he says "I'm gonna need star trek tapes and hot pockets." Of course, he might be able to find the Star Trek episode where the earth's core stopped spinning, and come up with a solution, rather than going all the way down to the core.

There is a nice comedic interlude. The Military Man of the hero squad asks the Eccentric Scientist what it would take to get his legendary ship going in 3 months. He says jokingly, "$50 billion." The G-Man replies, "Can you take a check?"

Of course, there's a quick cut closing with lots of explosions, lightning and lava. Standard fare for your action trailer.

Conclusion on Trailer: Better than the original, but that's not saying much. The scientific premise, and special effects are worth the download.

Conclusion on Movie: Can you say Armageddon II: Underground.

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