In the year 1966, a film called “Fantastic Voyage” was released in theaters. It was a box office success. This movie went on to inspire other films about the human body. Like this one called “Innerspace.” It came out in 1987, (same year as Spaceballs) it was a critical success, but it didn’t make enough money at the box office, just $2 million shy from its $27 million dollar budget.
The film was produced by Steven Spielberg, although he didn’t direct the picture, Steven’s fellow business partner Joe Dante, who directed “Gremlins,” its sequel and my personal favorite from his filmography, “Small Soldiers.” He was in charge of the director’s chair by making it. Despite labeled as a box office failure, the movie went on to win an Oscar for “Best Visual Effects.”
The Premise is about a pilot named Tuck Pendleton, (played by Dennis Quaid) who volunteers to take part in an experiment on miniaturization, by using a pod to travel through the body of a rabbit. Things go awry when criminals attempt to steal the miniature pod, a crew member managed to transfer him via syringe, into the body a of wimpy guy named, Jack Putter. (played by Martin Short) The unlikely duo must work together in order to get Pendleton out of Jack’s body or he’ll loose oxygen.
This review doesn’t contain any SPOILERS. For those who have not seen this movie, feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Pretty & Ugly Aspects
Pretty: Martin Short, Dennis Quaid & Meg Ryan all did a good job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Dennis & Meg started dated on set. Then they got married. Now they’re no longer together.
Joe Dante did a decent job directing the film.
Steven Spielberg produced the film courtesy of his company “Amblin Entertainment.”
The Special Effects were spectacular. The “Interior” designs for Jack Putter’s body was created with Practical Effects, this was before C.G.I. was introduced. Now thats a lot of dedicated hard work for The Special Effects Team, somebody give them a Christmas Bonus. The Effects surprisingly still holds up. It deserves Bonus Points. Props also go to the miniaturized pod.
The Musical Score was orchestrated by the late Jerry Goldsmith. (also wrote music for the Rambo movies & Star Trek series)
The Premise was interesting on miniaturizing one person going inside the human body.
Action Sequences were great including a battle from within scene, literally a battle from within the human body. If you’ve seen the film, there is an epic “Boss Fight” inside Jack.
Cinematography never suffered from any technical difficulties whatsoever.
Without trying to give anything away, Character Development involving Jack by transforming him from a Nerdy Wimp to an Action Hero.
Tuck also earns Character Development. He learns to take full responsibility as a pilot without acted like a reckless drunk.
Jack’s manager is played by the late Henry Gibson. He’s known as the voice of Wilbur from the original “Charlotte’s Web” & he also played the lead nazi from “The Blues Brothers.”
Joe’s collaborators including Robert Picardo, Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager) Wendy Schaal (Francine Smith from American Dad) & the late Dick Miller (Joe’s good luck charm) also appear.
One of the henchmen is played by comic book writer Frank Miller, known for writing graphic novels including “The Dark Knight Returns,” “Daredevil: The Man Without Fear,” “300” & last but not least, “Sin City.” Don’t believe me? Look him up.
The film manages to give me a couple of laughs, like a bathroom scene with Jack talking to Tuck. To put the icing on the cake. A random person said, “Play with it pal, don’t talk to it.” That line definitely deserves an Extra Point for making me laugh my butt of.
The Sound Effect of Tasmanian Devil’s tornado spin is heard when The Pod is spinning. Joe also went on to direct “Looney Tunes: Back In Action.” Warner Bros. who distributed Innerspace, also own the rights to The Looney Tunes. Joe is a big Looney Tunes fan.
A bunny rabbit named, Bugs is used for the botched experiment. Again, Joe loves Looney Tunes.
The chemistry between Jack & Tuck working together felt normal as they must learn to trust each other.
Ugly: The has an abrupt ending without resolving organically. I hate the fact a movie or show never finishes a plot. It’s as if anybody can’t finish a footlong sandwich at Subway.
A Dance Scene appears out of nowhere. As a reminder, Tuck is running out of Oxygen, if I were in this movie, I would’ve said, “We don’t have time for this nonsense!” Nobody dances in real life while someone is desperate to escape in a trapped environment. I hate it when a dance pops up randomly without actually connected to the plot.
The Villain’s motivation isn’t explained so much on why he wants to steal the miniature pod in the first place.
The Final Verdict: B, FOR BIRDIE! (golf term)
Besides the tiny problems, in my opinion, Innerspace wasn’t stupid, it was a smart film on exploring the human body. I was gonna give it a B- but it deserves a B for its visual presentation of The Human Body. This was way before Osmosis Jones & Inside Out taking the concept of the human body to a whole another level. It’s one of those multi-genre films mixing Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, and Comedy all in one package.
If you haven’t seen this underrated film, go ahead and give it a watch. Trust me. You won’t regret it.