Banner

Innerspace

Innerspace

What he said:

He

Several months ago I caught part of this on Encore. It was a childhood favorite and I had not seen it in years. I had already missed a good chunk of it, so I opened up that option that lets you know when it’s on again in the near future. It was on the next Sunday morning, but I was unable to catch it and it seemed to have disappeared from Encore’s current lineup.

Well I lucked out a few weeks ago and came upon it on a Saturday night. I was dead tired from an epic day of paintball and did not plan on staying up to watch it, but I got a little burst of energy so I just toughed it out. I am glad I did. I have always enjoyed this movie and was longing to see it ever I caught a glimpse of it a few months ago. The movie is so utterly ridiculous, but it has a certain charm to it. It reminds me of a Carl Hiaasen book. There’s action and adventure, but it’s usually pretty light. It’s also loaded with lot of different types of humor. There is some slapstick stuff going on thanks the presence of Martin Short. There is also some very subtle dirty humor at times. It all mixes together quite nicely.

Innerspace is about screw up pilot named Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) who has exhausted his career options and is forced to take part in a whacky experiment. Tuck is a drinker and has a habit of taking it out on others when his drinking and generally reckless behavior gets him in trouble. This has earned him quite a bad reputation, so he has taken a job with a company that is toying with miniaturization. He is to be shrunken down to a microscopic size and injected into a rabbit. He is to then to pilot this ship throughout the animal’s body doing all kinds of tests and collect various data. It’s supposed to be the new wave of technology that will change the world; so naturally that means there are all kinds of shady people who want to get their hands on it for some rather immoral and unethical reasons.

So this group of people breaks into the lab and attempts to steal the goods. They led by Dr. Margaret Canker (Fiona Lewis).  This lady is a real character.  She hits on anything with two legs and a penis, regardless of whether it’s an ally or enemy. Anyway, she is a little late as one of the scientists has taken the miniature Tuck – now inside a syringe – and has fled the scene. He is being pursued by Mr. Igoe (Vernon Wells). Upon first look he appears to be your typical henchman, but don’t be fooled.  He has a supercool robot hand that can do all kinds of thing or be substituted for all kinds of deadly toys. Igoe eventually catches up with him, but not before he injects Tuck into Jack Putter (Martin Short).

Jack is kind of a wreck as well, but in other ways. He is wound waaaay too tight. This guy has all kinds of problems or at least he thinks he does. Jack is the kind of guy who stops by his doctor’s office a few times of week with a new problem each time.   The last thing a guy like this needs is a bunch of thugs chasing him, but he’s got no choice.

Tuck is able to establish contact with Jack via radio waves and the two of them have to work together to try and rectify the situation. Along the way they recruit Tuck’s sometimes girlfriend Lydia (Meg Ryan) while dodging even more criminal types. Dr. Canker actually works for a guy named Victor Scrimshaw (Kevin McCarthy). This guy is straight out of a comic book or old pulp story. He has a big personality and even bigger wardrobe! He just cracks me up. He is a fantastic villain for this kind of movie. And if you like him, just wait until you see “The Cowboy” (played in a most amusing way by Robert Picardo). The villains are top-notch in this movie. They are such caricatures that I can’t help but be entertained by them.

This movie is classic Joe Dante. He’s the same director who brought us Gremlins, Gremlins 2, The Burbs, and the Explorers. He was very good at creating adventure comedies back in day. They are often silly – if not outright ridiculous at times – movies that entertain you nonetheless. If you really pay attention, there are plot holes all over the place, but the movie works in spite of it. Nobody makes this kind of movie anymore. If you like a good screwball, this one is for you. Here’s the trailer to give you a taste of what it’s like.


Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on May 11, 2012.