The Core

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(2003) ★★

Channel 4: Sunday 1 November, 3pm

Freak incidents across the globe alert scientists and security forces to imminent calamity – the electro-magnetic field is collapsing and the Earth’s core needs a quick kick-start. Easier said than done. But if the budget is big enough, anything is possible.

Erin Brockovich’s boyfriend Aaron Eckhart and Boys Don’t Cry/Million Dollar Baby double Oscar-winner Hilary Swank lead a secret team on a Fantastic Voyage to the Centre of the Earth in a diverting slab of apocalyptic sci-fi hokum that sets new standards of daftness for 21st century disaster flicks.

It aims hopefully for awesome but looks and sounds more like some kind of parody. The over-qualified cast just adds to the sense of a wackily-scripted Syfy TV mini-series gone haywire. Copycat director Jon Amiel does as much as can be expected with a script that clearly had issues from the outset.

Some of which were never resolved: the internet virus sent by D.J. Qualls is shown in monitor graphics as being ‘on it’s way…’ Not quite as egregious as Fire Twister’s typographical errors, perhaps, but its ignorance of basic grammar is still dispiriting.

Certificate: PG

Duration: 135min

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