Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom/USA, 2003. Paramount Pictures, David Foster Productions, Munich Film Partners New Century & Company. Screenplay by Cooper Layne, John Rogers. Cinematography by John Lindley. Produced by Sean Bailey, David Foster, Cooper Layne. Music by Christopher Young. Production Design by Philip Harrison. Costume Design by Daniel J. Lester. Film Editing by Terry Rawlings.
Massive electrical storms are ravaging big cities, birds are flying into buildings and causing mass hysteria, and the sky is constantly filled with beautiful Northern Light-like visions. Scientists discover that the core of the Earth has stopped spinning and is the cause of these problems, and according to Geophysics professor Aaron Eckhart (if professors in universities had such nice highlights I’d have stayed in school longer), the world will be toast in about a year’s time. So begins the quest to build a machine that can burrow into the Earth and travel to the planet’s very core with nuclear weapons in hand, ones which can jump start the planet and save humanity from destruction. It is only during their journey that our heroes discover the cause of this disaster, one whose blame rests less with the cosmos and more with some of its inhabitants. This film is huge steps ahead of similarly-themed dopey epics like Armageddon and Deep Impact in that the characters are drawn with more human quality (not tough-guy stereotyping) and the story takes all of its requisite casualties very seriously. Aside from that, it’s a raging good time with scientific content that is about as credible as Jules Verne, but thankfully (and appropriately) full of almost the same amount of wonder and excitement. It’s formulaic, but it sticks to character development well enough during its brisk pace and between the exciting action scenes to ground you in your seat and keep you interested. Hilary Swank has a great time as the earthship’s pilot who flies beside lead pilot Bruce Greenwood, and Stanley Tucci, Delroy Lindo and Tchéky Karyo join Eckhart as the colourful science geeks on board.