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The Core (2003) Poster

(2003)

Goofs

Character error 

(at around 2h 5 mins) Near the end of the movie where Rat's computer sends the "secret" information to the Internet, the message on the screen is misspelled "On It's Way".
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This goof item contains spoilers. Click to view

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

(at around 1h 30 mins) When the Golden Gate Bridge is melting away, one of the main support wires whips back and slams into the car of the guy whose arm was burnt. The audio has him screaming, but if you look in the rear-view mirror, you can see that his mouth is only partially open in the same expression of confusion he had seconds before.
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Character error 

(at around 56 mins) Dr. Zimsky states that he chose the Marianas Trench as the launch location because the crust is thinner there. The Marianas Trench is a subduction zone, where the Pacific plate is being pushed under the Philippine plate. Large amounts of sediments are built up at subduction zones as one plate scrapes the top off the other plate, so the oceanic crust is actually a good bit thicker at the trench. A better location would have been in the middle of a plate, such as near Hawaii.
(at around 35 mins) When Rat is being recruited, he uses a whistle to hack Josh's cell phone, telling him he now has "free long distance for life." However, by the time the movie takes place, not only were all land-line telephone trunk exchanges digital (meaning that temporary free long distance could not accomplished using a 2600 Hertz tone), but any cell phone exchange would be exclusively digital and therefore would not utilize tones as signals to (mechanical) trunk lines. Also, the whistle Rat uses is far lower in pitch than the necessary 2600 Hz.
(at around 1h) A display inside the ship misspells "integrity" as "intregrity".
(at around 1h 35 mins) While Rat is looking up Project DESTINI (Deep Earth Seismic Trigger INItiative), he types Project Destiny instead of using the proper acronym.
(at around 1h 30 mins) When Rat offers to help Josh stop Project Destiny, he tells Josh "here is the information you're primed for". Josh understands the code and enters "prime numbers" into his computer: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc. But 1 is not a prime number. (Note: 1 used to be considered prime number, but modern number theory doesn't think so - Josh ought to be up to date with these things.)
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(at around 39 mins) When Rebecca help Josh with his tie, Josh says "You're an astronaut and you can tie a Windsor?" with Rebecca saying yes. The tie knot in question is not a Windsor knot but a Four-In-Hand knot.
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(at around 41 mins) Dr. Keyes, when talking about the explosion necessary to restart the core, says "nucular" instead of "nuclear".
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Continuity 

(at around 8 mins) During the "pigeon stampede" the taxi windshield is cracked when a pigeon hits it. This causes the driver to swerve onto the sidewalk. Then cut to another angle and as it drives up on the sidewalk, the windshield is no longer cracked.
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(at around 1h 25 mins) When Zimsky is explaining what destiny is all about, he spells out the project name as an acronym of 'DESTINI', but just two minutes later, and a number of times after, the text that comes up on screen, over a shot of the fictitious location, clearly spells it out as 'DESTINY'.
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(at around 2h) While on the ship at sea looking for Josh and Beck, Rat's hair seems to grow shorter. When Rat is talking with the general inside, his hair is normal length, but when he runs to alert the general about the ultrasonics, his hair is at least an inch shorter.
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During the space shuttle crash, when Rebecca is trying to find an alternate landing site, the writing on the maps disappears in the next shot.
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(at around 14 mins) During the shuttle landing sequence, Maj. Rebecca Childs pulls out a folder which has a complex looking (cardboard) mechanical calculator on the left hand side of the folder. A few seconds later, the central part of the mechanical calculator is now blank.
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(at around 1h 50 mins) When Josh is preparing the last compartment to be ejected, he brings in the fuel rod, sets the timer, and manually ejects the compartment. But, Josh never pulls out the trigger within the bomb after he sets the timer.
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Errors in geography 

(at around 50 mins) When the crew approaches the launch site where they will descend to the Earth's core, a caption reads, "Marianas Trench - South Pacific". The Marianas Trench is in the North Pacific, east of the Philippines.
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(at around 7 mins) At the start of the Trafalgar Square sequence, the POV from behind the statue of Nelson is toward the National Gallery on the north side of the Square. In fact, the statue of Nelson at the top of Nelson's Column faces the other way (south) down Whitehall.
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(at around 18 mins) They fly in over Dodger stadium, heading south. Endeavour ends up with sun shining on its port side, indicating it's nose is pointed north. The 6th street Bridge (with double steel arch) behind it could not be behind the aircraft because they showed multiple shots of gliding over it as they headed south.
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Factual errors 

(at around 1h 30 mins) During the bridge scene the microwave energy can melt through several feet of galvanized carbon steel wire (main cable) and the bridge beams themselves but not through less than 2mm of metal on the car's body shell.
(at around 1h 2 mins) When Virgil first enters free-fall after drilling into the empty space, the characters are all thrust forward in the direction of the fall. Actually since they are in free-fall, they should suddenly become weightless in the cabin as they would fall at the exact same rate as Virgil.
As a body enters the interior of a large mass, such as the Earth or any other planet, the force of gravity begins to decrease at a linear rate, and reaches zero at the center of the planet. Although the ship is hovering above the inner core, and is therefore not at the exact center of the earth, the gravitational force would be nearly zero, so the actors should be able to float around the ship as if in orbit. As is, they walk around as if under the influence of normal gravity experienced on the surface of the Earth.
(at around 17 mins) When the space shuttle has to make the emergency landing at the beginning of the film, it retracts its landing gear to fit under a bridge. However, in order to save on weight, the space shuttle landing gear does not have the necessary machinery to retract its landing gear; the gear must be manually returned to its stowed position.
Hawaii is in the middle of the Pacific tectonic plate, not in an area between two plates as in the movie.
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(at around 1h 30 mins) At the end of the scene where the Golden Gate Bridge is destroyed, it shows one of the towers leaning toward the center of the bridge with the cables anchoring it to the land still in tact. Without the weight of the center section of the bridge, the weight of the cables and bridge deck would pull the tower back toward the land, not out toward the water.
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(at around 1h 35 mins) When Rat is trying to "hack" his way into the DoE's "Intranet Database", on his first try to access a file he gets an error "404 - Access Denied". Actually, web server error message 404 corresponds to "File Not Found", while 403 is "Forbidden / Access Denied". Since Rat is working from a seemingly secured computer - he seems to have no trouble at all accessing the DoE's "Intranet" as clearly stated on the screen - probably the correct error message should have been "401 - Unauthorized".
There is no direct power link from the lower 48 to Alaska. The Continental electrical grid extends up to northern British Columbia, then stops. The Yukon (which actually is between BC and Alaska) is not "tied in to the grid", so therefore it would be impossible for them to "draw power from the rest of the US", which is silly anyway, because all the power they were drawing would actually have to go through Canadian power lines.
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(at around 8 mins) In Trafalgar Square pigeons fall dead from the sky. Others crash through windows of vehicles and buildings. This is totally implausible as the birds have insufficient mass and almost all glass in cars and buildings is reinforced.
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(at around 1 min) In the opening scene, we see a close-up of the man's watch, which shows the hour hand pointed directly at the 10 mark and the minute hand pointed strait down (at the 6, or 30 mark). Given the position of the minute hand, the hour hand should be halfway between two markings. I.e. if it's supposed to be 10:30, the hour hand should be halfway between the 10 and 11 marks.
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When Brazz demonstrates the capabilities of Unobtainium the laser burns a semi-circle with a silhouette of the box into the steel plate and the warehouse wall. However the beam is shown burning a perfect circle around the box that includes a portion of the concrete pedestal the box is sitting which is not reflected in patterns burned into the plate and wall.
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Miscellaneous 

In the credits, Bruce Greenwood's character is listed as "Richard Iverson" when he was actually "Robert Iverson" and frequently referred to as Bob throughout the entire film.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

(at around 2h) U.S. Navy aircraft carriers are not equipped with sonar (the only one so equipped had it removed in the early 1980s). The Petty Officer on the bridge says "Combat relay says that our sub has something on the sonar", the aircraft carrier doesn't have the sonar; it is being relayed via CIC from a sub.
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(at around 9 mins) When the pigeons are all dying, the people run from Trafalgar Square into a building with large windows at the front. Moments later, we see several birds striking and breaking the windows. If you watch carefully, you will see that at least two of the birds that hit the window are, in fact, fish. This was deliberately put in by filmmakers as an inside joke.
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Plot holes 

(at around 1h 7 mins) When they're stuck in the geode and realize the lava is going to reach them, there is no reason they can't all retreat to inside the ship. They can clearly see that the lava is melting the crystals, and the ship can easily handle the temperature of the lava. There is no reason to risk anyone's life to continue trying to cut through the crystal that is jamming the lasers.
The sections of Virgil are designed to be detached if they become damaged. What would happen if a large diamond damaged section 3, but all the other sections were fine? You'd have to lose every section behind the damaged pod.

Revealing mistakes 

(at around 1h 3 mins) The ship crashes into the crystal and comes to a dead stop. Inside the ship, all the characters rock forward violently except Josh; when they stop, you can clearly see he realizes his mistake and mouths a curse word.
(at around 53 mins) When Virgil is falling through the water it is clearly traveling at high speed, yet the digital depth gauge is counting feet at about 4 per second (490, 491, 492, 493, 494, etc) which is less than 3 mph.
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(at around 1h 30 mins) We see a man quickly pull his hand into his car after it gets burnt. In the meantime, shots of other things getting fried are visible, followed shortly by the man looking terrified in the car, while outside, someone walks calmly past. (Not present in the Blu-ray version)
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(at around 2h) Some of the lines holding the USS Abraham Lincoln to the dock are visible on the side as the camera sweeps around the ship, disappearing as they pass in front of the water. Also, the aircraft are arranged for display as if the ship is in port, completely blocking the catapults and landing traps.
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If the sun rays were really hot enough to melt the hardened steel of the Golden Gate Bridge's deck and cables as depicted, the people in their vehicles would have surely roasted to death and their cars gas tanks, windows and tires exploded long before any damage was done to the bridge itself.
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The two times Project Destiny is shown in the movie, {About 1:33, and 1:36} If you take a second look at the trucks, and the way the people are walking, what your actually seeing is an animation and not an actual set or green screen, but was all computer made, as if it was a video game.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

(at around 2h) Shortly before the two remaining survivors get rescued, the sonar on the carrier is switched to speakers and we hear the sound of humpback whales. But the whales actually circling the remains of "Virgil" are killer whales (orcas).
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Character error 

In Josh's narrative, he says that the ship is divided into 6 sections. 1. Locomotive 2. Navigation 3. Living 4. Engineering 5. Bomb 6. Weapons Control. In the diagram on the screen, there are a total of seven sections. Also, when you count the detached sections at the end of the movie, there are 7 sections. The 1st to detach was the Weapons Control Unit where Serge was killed. The next 5 to detach all contained bombs. The one remaining was the Locomotive Unit. The extra section could not be the Reactor Unit, as it makes no sense to detach the power supply from the 1st section. The core was located in the 1st section and Josh carried it to the second section.
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Errors in geography 

(at around 2h 5 mins) When Rat sends information to news networks, when he reaches Al-Jazeera, the message says "Al-Jazeera, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia", but Al-Jazeera broadcasts in Doha, Qatar.
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(at around 2h 5 mins) At the end, computer graphics display a map of the world and show a document being sent to eight news organizations and the United Nations. As the locations are listed, the city, country, latitude and longitude are included. The first three (CNN, ABC, and CBS) display the correct cities (Atlanta and New York) but use the same latitude/longitude of 38 N / 97 W which is near Wichita, Kansas. All nine of the organizations listed show significantly inaccurate lat/long values except for the United Nations (which, for some reason, is in Belize City, Belize). In addition to this one of the news organizations he contacts is "Der Spiegel" from Germany. On screen it says "Der Spiegel - Berlin, Germany". Both the publisher and the editorial staff are located in Hamburg, Germany.
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Factual errors 

(at around 1h 35 mins) After the crew determines that the only way to complete the mission is to override the manual ejection sequence in the crawl space, they know that it is over 9,000 degrees there, and their suits could take "half of that." Even if it were possible to wear a suit that could withstand 4,500 degrees Farenheit, no substance of the earth could withstand 9,000 degrees, which is only 2,000 degrees short of the surface temperature of the sun. In other words, even if the ship's hull could sustain that temperature, when Braz stepped into the "crawlspace" to access the manual override lever, he and his suit would have been liquefied almost instantly.
(at around 1h 10 mins) When Iverson gets hit in the head by a crystal splinter in the geode and falls into the magma sea, he would actually float on the magma, since the density of the molten stone is very much higher than his.

See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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