An A-List Cast Recites Z-Grade Dialogue

The greatest special effect in The Core isn't the CGI magma flows, crazy space shuttle crashes, or "diamonds the size of Cape Cod" at the center of the Earth. Rather, it's the amazing cast. Just watch this scene, where Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank handle technobabble and cheesy lines that would have made the writers of Star Trek: Voyager blush. (And then Stanley Tucci caps it off with nutty-maniac acting to match his raving-scientist lines.) Nonsensical, beautiful scenes like this one are the reason I love The Core in spite of its flaw. I say flaw singular, because the whole movie is pretty much flaw. The dialogue is pretty much non-stop cheese from beginning to end, with Eckhart lovingly reciting lines like, "The lack of oxygen kept me from weeping like a little girl, as is my custom in dangerous situations." And, when a general says the word "Can't" is not in his vocabulary: "Then I suggest you get one of those word-a-day calendars, general." Meanwhile, Swank gets to look stoic except when she flares her nostrils and says things like, "Hot DAMN" when they broach the Earth's crust. Fun fact: The Core is co-written by John Rogers, who has a degree in physics from McGill University. Rogers also co-wrote Catwoman, and showed up in person to collect his "worst screenplay" award at the Razzies. Rogers had a story credit on Transformers. And yet, he was also the writer or co-writer of alien-armor comic Blue Beetle for its first 25 or 26 issues — which was my favorite run on any superhero comic, period, of the past five years. Weird, huh? [IMDB]

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Annalee Newitz

Aw, I liked the diamonds the size of cape cod.