The Core


Terrestrial TV in Britain is an infamously sorry affair, comprised almost entirely of programs in which ugly people tell uglier people that they are too stupid to buy a house by themselves. Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered that ‘The Core’ was on TV the other night. What a rare treat! Unfortunately I missed the entire film as I was spying on an estate agent trying to sell a house across the road. The will to watch the film was there, however, and that alone qualifies me to review it.

It is humbling to acknowledge that, in spite of all our technological advancements and in spite of all of our mastery over organic and robotic life, we are still no closer to discovering what lies at the centre of the earth. Some theorists have posited that it is a garlicky butter-based filling, like those we find inside chicken kievs. Others have hypothesised that a smaller world is tucked within our world in a Russian-doll fashion. The leading explanation is that the earth is filled with air, waiting until the day some hapless prannock stumbles over the earth’s valve and it can be released, sending the planetzipping all over the solar system like a deflating beach ball. It is a frightening prospect. But, speculate as we might, we will probably never know the answer to this most mysterious of scientific riddles.

The makers of The Core have a theorem nevertheless. According to this whimsical, vaunting pump-piece, the centre of the earth is a big red temperamental blob of volcanic fury. And it is mighty peeved. The film begins by following various simpering and snickering sad cases around the globe one temperate spring morning as they go about their business. But this is not a regular spring morning. No sir, today the peeved blob has plans of its own. The oceans boil with seismic flatulence. Geysers spew and spurt. Dogs and their khaki short-wearing owners tumble like peas into fissures that appear spontaneously beneath their paws and feet. Some of the sad cases perish in the first wave of the disturbances, but, it being early in the film, and emotional attachment being a gradual process for most viewers, they are not missed much. The survivors snuffle unwieldy snotballs of misery for ten minutes then spend the rest of the film skedaddling about without much dramatic purpose. Meanwhile, the governments of the world assemble a troupe of experts to descend into the centre of the earth and assuage the crazed blob, which they do with minimal hindrance, and the film ends thereupon.

Entertainment is all very well. We all like to cackle until our blubbersome bodies shudder revoltingly. But when entertainment starts getting ideas above its station and misleading the public – who as we all know will accept anything that comes in a sugary sheathe with smiling faces all over it – about scientific matters then it is no longer entertainment. It is lie-tertainment. It is a dirty knapsack of deceit, and it should be thrown out as if ’twere a soiled sofa cushion. I recommend that instead of taking your children to see this film you take them down to your local natural history museum and learn about science in a controlled environment.


2 Responses to “The Core”

  1. Banjo Fett Says:

    Ack! Tumbling peas, snotbags of misery and knapsacks of deceit? I turn to cinema for fantastic escapism not harsh reality.

    Although the idea of a film about drilling does sound quite nice. What gauge and coating of drill-bit do they use, do you happen to know, by the way, perchance?

  2. johnlebaptiste Says:

    Tumbling peas are alas an inescapable part of all of our lives these days.

    I’m not sure what make and gauge of drill it was, but I can tell you that it went ‘WHEEEEE’ and was bigger than the Mole that came out of the Thunderbird 2 in Thunderbirds.

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