out of 5
|* this is based upon the accuracy of the geology portrayed in the movie.
A "good" movie may still suck geologically - or visa versa.
I go to a movie with my friends, they always manage to figure out the plot long before I
do. Well in this movie, I sorted it out within the first 4 minutes. I beat lead character
and sexy geophysicist Josh by 2 minutes and he was supposed to be a wonder kid. I guess it
should have been me taking that ride to nowhere instead of him.
is the basic premise of the film: the Earth's core has stopped spinning and its
electromagnetic field is shutting down. This is bad and the movie treats us to a number of
scary situations involving lightning, pace makers, a space shuttle and pigeons. After
watching Armageddon a few years ago, I wondered if any of the model makers
employed in that film were ever going to work again. Well the're back and
they did a fine number blowing up Rome and parts of San Francisco.
get to the bottom of the non-spinning core problem, 6 intrepid heroes travel in the
world's largest suppository that is named "Virgil" and is composed of a
new and secret material (unobtainium). Fortunately, this material, which was discovered by
wacko scientist Brazz, gets stronger the more pressure it is exposed to making it the
ideal stuff to manufacture a craft to travel to the Earth's core. Brazz also invented a
sonic laser device capable of drilling through solid rock fast enough to get the ship to
the Earth's core in just a couple of days (100 mile an hour speeds are required for this
feat). Computer nerd Rat stays behind to defend the team from, get this, publicity on the
internet. We don't want the world to panic now do we? Go team, go (but don't tell anyone
are the typical rivalries between the major characters (Zimsky is a science advisor who
held fund away from Brazz; Beck desperately wants to be a commander but is an underling to
Richard) as well as the sexual tension that you just know is going to occur between Beck
and Josh. At least the producers got this aspect of geology correct; Geologists are always
smart, good looking and sexy, and they always get the girl (especially when she is smart,
good looking and sexy). The rest of the movie is just so-so as far as the geology is
concerned. Never mind that we will probably never be able to drill into the core, but if
we could, I'm willing to bet that we would not start the adventure in the Mariana Trench.
Sure, it's deep, but why drill through an area experiencing that much compression where
the lithosphere is thicker? If I were Josh, I'd have gone through the oceanic crust in a
middle of a tectonic plate where the oceanic crust is only 5 km thick ant the lithosphere
is passive. Better yet, drop through a divergent plate boundary (Iceland?).
were some really dumb moments in this film. One thousand km down, Virgil encounters
a hole (void space). I don't doubt that there are small fluid filled voids in the mantle,
but one several miles across filled by gas and lined by quartz crystal (specifically
amethyst).... I don't think so. French geophysicist Serge comments that it must have been
lined in cobalt to protect the "geode" from the pressure, but Serge, what about
the heat? Cobalt is not a heat insulator. Quartz melts at less than 1000 degrees and that
far in the mantle, it is far hotter than that. A better mineral would have been diamond,
but the producers had another use for that polymorph of carbon. Poor Beck. In her first
opportunity to play the Commander, she scratches the paint from Virgil when they
are trying to dodge apartment-sized diamonds further in the mantle resulting in death,
destruction and heroics by Serge..
the minute Virgil started his merry trip into hell, you just knew that the
majority of the characters were going to die off one by one and that the only two that
would be left at the end would be Josh and Beck. The only real question was who would die
first? It wasn't the "black guy" this time round. The winner (loser?) was
Richard. He lasted until 1 hour and 10 minutes (1:10) of the movie. After that, they
dropped like flies. Serge went at 1:20, followed by Brazz (1:44), and Zimsky (1:49). They
all died the typical hero death which was a bit surprising in the case of Zimsky because
he was playing the pseudo-bad guy (we find out that he may have been responsible for the
destruction of the electromagnetic field in the first place). For a while I thought Josh
might also be dead (he had to expose the nuclear core of Virgil in order to save
the planet), but he and Beck didn't seem to be worried about this at the end of the movie.
Note to Beck: if you two get it on together (which looked quite likely), use birth
control. Plutonium and babies do not mix.
the movie was an okay ride that was reasonably accurate with the geology if not the
technology. Worth renting, but not buying.
|Most inaccurate geo-line in the movie:
must be coming up in the space between tectonic plates near Hawaii" (Hawaii is
in the middle of a single tectonic plate. Its volcanic activity is related to a hotspot,
not a plate boundary).