Starring: Craig Sheffer, James Russo, Terry Farrell, Wil Wheaton, Bruce McGill Written by: Jim Christopher and Philip J. Roth Directed By: Rodney McDonald
This was one dumb movie. I don't know if its a disaster movie or an action movie. Well, I lie....I do know. I know its not an action movie because there's very little action and if its a disaster movie...well, you can have more destruction by playing SimCity and using the disasters in the game to smash buildings.
Dr. Brian Goodman working with his old friend, businessman Alan Morrissey has developed a laser drill called the USDM. (I don't know what the acronym stands for. I'm sure they mentioned it, but I didn't catch it). Morrissey however sees the potential for a weapon in the device a position that Goodman is totally against. So what does Goodman do? Complain to the Board of directors? No he purposely overloads the device destroying the prototype and an entire building with it. Its only by the grace of God that none of the people working in the building were killed when the place blowed up real good. Needless to say, Morrissey is royally pissed and thus endeth the partnership.
2 years later Goodman is working with two other friends of his, Sam and Rodney. Sam is played by Bruce McGill who I have a hard time not thinking of as D-Day from Animal House. Rodney is played by....Oh God, NO, Wil Wheaton....Wesley Crusher from Star Trek the Next Generation. If you thought Wesley Crusher was annoying then you haven't met Rodney. Imagine Wesley Crusher as a drunk womanizer. Yeah, that's the picture I'm talking about. Painful, ain't it? While working a drilling job in South America, Goodman learns that Morrissey has resumed the USDM project and going against prior warnings, has somehow damaged the tectonic plates, causing imminent worldwide destruction. Don't get your hopes up though. The destruction seen is either CGI or small clips from real volcanoes erupting and none of it that exciting. This movie was Direct To Video so you can be sure there was no great budget attached to it. There's not going to be cars flying through the air or herds of people running and being crushed/burned/ mutilated in the fashion that we movie watchers love to watch.
Since we're not gonna see a lot of fantastic scenes of wanton destruction, what can the movie fall back? Story? Plot? Characterization? Ha....we're in trouble droogies. There's a half hearted attempt to give Sam some characterization by showing that he is actually was well read, opera loving thinking man, despite the fact that he acts and dresses like a guy living in the ass end of a trailer park. But other than that, there's zip. Goodman goes to confront Morrissey and tells him that he'll tell the world who is responsible for the disasters. He also tells him that he knows how to stop the big ass earthquakes from happening. Okaaaaay...let us backtrack a minute, my droogs. Morrissey's complex on an island was completely wiped out when the USDM vehicle malfunctioned or whatever...and the island was obliterated! How could telling the world who was responsible be a threat? The World must know! What, no one noticed that Morrissey had a billion dollar complex on this island before it was incinerated? No one noticed that the island blew the f*** up? Also, Brian must be a genius on the level of Buckaroo Banzai! Not only did he calculate where and when the quakes will occur, he devised a way to stop them....presumably on the plane trip from South America to the US to confront Morrissey. I usually sleep on a flight. Morrissey managed to do complex equations with no aid! What a guy. I wonder if he also moonlights as a surgeon and rock star.
Morrissey agrees to Goodman's plan, and introduces him to Dr. Ally Saunders, the scientist that rebuilt the USDM after Goodman destroyed the prototype. If you didn't like Wesley Crusher on Trek, then maybe it will reconcile you to know that Ally is played by Terry Farrell, formerly known as Dax on Deep Space Nine. Farrell doesn't add much to the movie, except for being the "chick". Still, its the dialogue and the script that's killing the characters. No one is doing a world conquering acting job here, but what the actors are given ain't helping. Goodman's plan is this....to use the drilling vehicle equipped with the USDM laser drill to dig into the earth and lay a chain if nuclear warheads. The nukes explode and push the tectonic plates into a non-civilization ending position. Look, I didn't write this crap, I know it doesn't make sense on so many levels. Hell, I don't know a damned thing about plate tectonics and it sounds stupid to me anyway. Morrissey and Simmons have Goodman and his friends flown to their complex in China to begin the operation....they're on a clock and they have to get moving.
Man,. this movie is stupid. If you watch it you'll have no idea who Simmons is for the first half hour. He seems like a flunky to Morrissey, but that's because James Russo (who plays him) is all silent and menacing looking. Thus you believe he's a bodyguard or something. Its only until they reach the middle of the movie that Simmons is then shown to be either equal or higher on the food chain than Morrissey. Plus, we get to find out that the drilling vehicle and the laser drill were promised to the Chinese government as a weapon upon completion. I really can't see why some Capitalist US businessmen would make such a deal with Communist China. I find it almost impossible to believe that the US government wouldn't back them on the development of this equipment since it actually does work!
Now of course the good guys manage to save the world....there's no doubt about that. But to describe to you the rest of what happens would be boring for both me and you, my friends. There is one interesting point....and its probably the only reason people rent this movie....Rodney bites it by being literally melted away by magma. Its sad to say, but for a disaster flick, that's about the only real "thrill" in it.
Best Lines: “Now you can land."- Rodney insists on finishing his drink before the pilot lands the plane. That about sums up his character.
Are you kidding me?
1.) How the hell is Goodman not in jail? He destroys the USDM and the entire complex as Morrissey puts it "on a whim". Of course, he's the movie's hero, so he faces no repercussions. Its insane, though. This guy just blew up what must be billions dollars worth of research, The PROTOTYPE for the USDM, and an entire building because he didn't agree with the policies and politics of Morrissey? It doesn't matter if Morally he was right. Doesn't this company have stockholders or something that would be screaming for blood about this?
2.) Wouldn't it be really dark in the tunnel when the crew goes out to repair the drilling craft? Even if you say the craft has exterior lights its way to bright in there to be just that.
3.) Goodman tells Ally and Rodney to get back into the drilling craft lickety split, and what happens? Rodney says "I'll check the rear axle" or something and leisurely strolls to the rear of the vehicle to look at a part, that to my knowledge, wasn't damaged. Ally just gives him a thumbs up. So what, did they forget that Sam mentioned a possible magma flow? did they forget that they were, in fact, in danger? You know, most people would have figured "Hmmmm, maybe I should go back inside, since there's a 99% probability that Goodman's wanting means imminent danger!". Not these bozos. Well, at least you get to see Wil Wheaton get insta-cremated.
4.) Goodman wants Sam and Rodney on the job because they're supposedly REALLY good at what they do. I guess so. Sam demonstrates some kind of "I know All" stuff when we first meet him, and Rodney actually knows makes, models and stuff about modern nuclear weapons. Its all very simplistic, but the point is to show that they are very smart, very talented men. (Despite what you see on the screen.) Even Morrissey describes them as the "best". Well, if they're the best why do they live like scumbags? I know people on welfare that dress better and both men apparently live in dingy hotels! What are they best at? Being bums?
5.) Morrissey says he can delay the detonation of the nukes by tying up its system in a diagnostic...(do nukes even have systems like that?) but he has to baby sit it. But all we see him do is play solitaire on the computer screen to keep himself occupied while the diagnostic runs. By the way...why would the software for a nuke have solitaire on it? Are nukes controlled by Windows XP or something?
6.) How could both Goodman and Ally be unaware that the technology they developed could be used as a weapon? For the love of Sanity its a laser capable of boring through solid stone and the like as if it were butter! Any pea brain on the street could see the potential for weapons in that!
Nudity and Sex: None
So the traveling couple was only in the script so we could get the overly long sequence of Goodman, Rodney and Bruce in a bar? The whole thing was a set up for Goodman to see the newspaper the wife was carrying? Talk about creative padding.
Someone school me on this...isn't magma unbelievably,
horrendously HOT? Why is that movie characters can be near it and not be in
physical pain? Ever stand right next to a fire....I mean like inches away? Its
friggin' hot, yeah? Imagine what standing a few inches from molten rock must
feel like? I'm not a scientist, but I think it would be bad. Yet in the movies,
characters are always ok as long as they don't touch it. (Hey, if
you know more about volcanoes than edumacate me.....like in the excellent Lord
of the Rings: Return of the King how can Frodo and Sam survive on a rock only a
few feet from an ocean of lava!?) Ally is only a few feet
away from the molten magma when Goodman hauls her stupid ass back in the craft.
Wouldn't she be a little burned. (And don't tell me she was wearing an
environment suit. So was Rodney but he melted like the Wicked Witch when the
magma touched him.
Why would Simmons or Morrissey design a weapon for the Chinese government? It kind of irks me when villains are villains just for the sake of villainy. Morrissey says he lost sight of the big picture when he has his change of heart, but Simmons just seems to be happy committing treason against the US. Bah, why am I trying to find motivation for these characters. The writers didn't even bother to do that.
The Final Judgment: Speaking of Hot Places under the surface of the Earth, Deep Core was on its way to the Flaming pits. The only reason it gets a single devil head is the part where Rodney gets cremated. I don't have anything against Wil Wheaton....its just that I hated Wesley Crusher. Its petty and silly, but you gots ta get what joy ya can sometimes.