Innerspace (1987)

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Innerspace (1987)

Post  BoG on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:24 pm

Director Joe Dante's amusing version of the sf classic, Fantastic Voyage (1966): Dennis Quaid stars as an undisciplined Navy officer (the only kind in many Hollywood movies, also drunk much of the time) who volunteers for an unusual experiment - he gets shrunken down to microbe size and then is accidentally injected into neurotic Martin Short. Enemy scientists and opportunists (Fiona Lewis, Kevin McCarthy) chase after Short, who at first believes himself to be possessed (Quaid figures out a way to communicate with Short from inside). Meg Ryan also stars as Quaid's girlfriend, a journalist. There are also unusual henchmen involved in the chasing, played by Vernon Wells (The Road Warrior) and Robert Picardo (in all of Joe Dante's films). Wells, for example, can shoot people with his finger.

The film is generally amusing, usually involving Short talking to 'himself,' but rises above other similar fare by having a few truly hilarious bits. At one point, Short finishes urinating in a men's room and, for a moment, thinks he may have gotten rid of Quaid that 'way.'  Later, Quaid employs an off-the-wall & out-of-left-field technique to rearrange Short's face muscles so that he mimics Picardo's character. When Short abruptly begins to change back to his own self while confronting the villains, the shock of his transformation almost paralyzes the bad guys with fear - it's some inspired comedic moments.  But, the film also throws in at least one gruesome moment in the final act, involving the demise of a bad guy - it's meant to be darkly comic but is just gnarly.  We expect Short to be funny, but Ryan is also cute & funny, and McCarthy makes for a very humorous villain. BoG's Score: 7 out of 10

Inner Trivia: William Schallert, playing Short's doctor, would return in Dante's Matinee (93);
___________ also cameos by Dick Miller as a cab driver and Ken Tobey as the guy in the men's room.
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