Re-writing Science in “The Core”

In this class so far, we have watched some questionable movies. Scientists have either not been utilized fully or not employed at all in the making of the films. The movie in which a lapse in scientific accuracy is most notably evident would have to be The Core, a movie in which simple common sense is similarly absent. The picture abounds with wild circumstances and even wilder solutions, all for the sake of adding hype and suspense to a ludicrous plot. Though a complete discussion of the erroneous nature of The Core would take more than half a thousand words, we can safely skim across the sea of falsehood by focusing on geological incongruities with which this movie presented us.
To pass through the evident lies in a chronological manner, let’s begin with the entire pretense of the events to follow: the notion of the outer core ceasing to move due to human interference. The movie starts out with a global crisis instigated by an experimental event referred to as Project DESTINI, in which seismic waves were propagated through the Earth’s core so that strategically planned earthquakes could put a nation’s enemies at a loss. Rather than developing a successful weapon, the project’s directors affected the core in such a way that it no longer rotated. As a consequence of this stagnation, the magnetic field surrounding the Earth deteriorates and ceases to maintain proper climate patterns across the globe. Nuclear weapons are the most powerful tools known to mankind at the present, yet to propose that their impact could be so magnanimous as to put the outer core at a standstill is pretty absurd. The dimensions of the core are such that our comparatively miniscule power of explosion would have no means to interfere with the inner workings of the planet in this way.
To first present in the film the effects of these bizarre geological events, the opening scene displays a number of people dropping on the spot due to pacemaker failures. This occurs as the magnetic field is unstable, and its fluctuations cause the pacemakers to malfunction, resulting in several hearts’ failure. For this to occur, the field would have to be so far gone as to permit the excess passage of microwave radiation, yet the idea of this loss of the magnetic field is purely science fiction.
Further consequences of the magnetic field’s new weakness include the mass deaths of birds. A scene composed of the event of dozens of birds launching from the sky into windows, statues, and streets depicts this. This was to be based on the proper fact that birds’ migratory patterns rely on the magnetic field for help in navigation. In the scene, then, as birds fly through the sky and the field fluctuates, they are thrown off, to the obvious effect that each mid-flight bird descends abruptly, running into any and everything. The question this provokes is, how would the loss of a helpful navigation tool cause birds to simply fall out of the sky? Why would being less able to determine the general direction of their flight paths result in their total giving-up and complete loss of the ability to even fly anymore? This happens to be a particularly absurd moment in the movie.
To end on another absolute-nonsense moment in the movie, one of the several tragic deaths that occur in the film includes that of the noble Dr. Brazzleton. He draws the straw that signifies his chance duty to expose himself to 9000ºF in order to allow the rest of the ship and its few remaining occupants to carry on in the mission. The truly unbelievable nature of this scene’s absurdity lies in the fact that the man, himself, sets out with the note to his fellow members on the mission that the suit he has on could protect him from half the heat he is about to experience. In other words, he straightforwardly informs the audience that it is utterly impossible for him to make it out in that heat of the Earth’s inner depths, and he does so right before the movie presents him doing just that. He goes and walks about and completes the supposedly impossible task, all the while showing signs of mere wearing down, rather than positively melting. True, to show him melting away would be not be all too agreeable for the audience, but it would be biologically accurate. A mistake like this doesn’t require a scientist’s expert mind to detect. Nor do many of the mistakes presented throughout the movie. The film is rather deserving of all the backlash as the most inaccurate sci-fi movie put out, to date.

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