Innerspace is one of those movies I grew up with. I’ve seen it when I was very young and it blew me away completely. It was incredibly creative, offering a different perspective on the most important thing in your life, your body. And when you’re young that means a lot. Funny, charming, and exciting, it’s capable of stealing even the most cynical hearts. Granted, I have to tell you that some of the scenes look too silly and over-the-top cheesy. If you’re an adult, just to be clear. A cynical adult, to be even more clear. If you’re a kid I’m sure you’re going to love Martin Short’s antics.
So, what’s this movie about anyway? Well, you probably know or remember Innerspace as that eighties movie where they shrink a guy and inject him into another guy. I know it sounds a bit perverse when you look at it like this but I assure you this is a family-friendly experience. It’s inspired by the 1966 classic Fantastic Voyage, a movie where they shrink a submarine to help an injured scientist. Additionally, Back to the Future came out just two years prior and was a huge success. This is perhaps the reason behind the open-ended finale as they were hoping for a sequel.
There are two names I’m going to drop right now that are going to tell you everything you need to know about this movie. Steven Spielberg is the executive producer while Joe Dante of his Gremlins fame is the director. In the lead role, we have the charming accident-prone Martin Short while co-starring with him is incredibly fit Dennis Quaid. Everyone’s favorite eighties sweetheart Meg Ryan plays the love interest. However, Vernon Wells (Wez – The mohawk guy from Mad Max 2) gave one hell of a performance as Mr. Igoe, the bad guy’s henchman.
I still remember how scared I was when he entered that mini-sub and how his claws started clacking. I didn’t even know I remembered them but as soon as that scene started, all of them came rushing back in. Robert Picardo, everyone’s favorite holographic doctor from Star Trek: Voyager, here plays a cocky cowboy known only as The Cowboy. Another surprise was the fact that the special and practical effects stood the test of time so valiantly that they can go toe-to-toe with any of the modern movies.
And I say that with full confidence as shall you when you check out the movie. The entry into the bloodstream was simply stunning. And what to say about the scene where Mr. Igoe is using his thrusters to move around? It was so easy to fuck that up and yet the end product is nearly perfect. Innerspace features fast pacing as we will be going back and forth between action and humor. The characters are charming and memorable, just the way they should be in a movie like this.
Tuck Pendleton is not having a good night. Drunk, he just made a scene at a dinner full of other Navy pilots and was promptly thrown out. When he wakes up, he realizes that his girlfriend left him. Down on his luck, he agrees to participate in a secret and very dangerous experiment. You see, Tuck will be shrunk to the size of a pincushion in injected into a rabbit to test this new technology. After months of hard work, the day they all been waiting for is finally here. However, they don’t know that the bad guys are just around the corner. And that they’re about to steal the most valuable thing in that lab…
Since Innerspace is an eighties movie, you can count on some pretty spectacular stunts. Oh man, I do love those eighties stunts which look like somebody could’ve died that day. Apart from the main theme of miniaturization which was quite powerful we also have a couple of others. Corporate greed, hypochondria, depression, alcoholism, and friendship are some of them. The whole miniaturization thing was quite prophetic as nanobots and nano research are in full swing right now. And it seems like a much better idea than Artificial Intelligence or AI.
Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Innerspace, I recommend you check out Dreamscape, also starring Dennis Quaid. I think you can already guess where he will be travelling in that one. Joe Dante also directed Small Soldiers, another perspective-shift science fiction action movie.
Director: Joe Dante
Writers: Jeffrey Boam, Chip Proser
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Vernon Wells, Robert Picardo
Fun Facts: Peter Kuran, the special effects supervisor for the movie Innerspace, says that all the cells you see floating in Jack’s body are actually made out of Jello.