Innerspace (1987)

Genres - Comedy, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Comedy  |   Release Date - Jul 1, 1987 (USA)  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - Portugal   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Essentially a visually sophisticated update of Robert Fleischer's Fantastic Voyage (1966), Innerspace is a wacky sci-fi treat that looks like oodles of fun for both the performers and the Oscar-winning special effects department. There's something inherently watchable about the "oops, we're headed straight for the gall bladder!" emergencies of this story matter, and it gives Martin Short a license to be physically scattershot -- something the audience doesn't always grant him so willingly. Dennis Quaid's hotshot pilot is key to setting Joe Dante's grinning tone; his wisecracks under duress keep the movie humming along at the level of screwball comedy, in which nothing really bad can happen. The giddy "reality on hold" mindset of Innerspace is a logical offshoot from Dante's Gremlins, though the director is migrating from comic fantasy to fantastic comedy. That he helped direct the episodic parody Amazon Women on the Moon the same year suggests his increasing fondness for the ridiculous. The shrunken production design and weightless sensibilities of Innerspace likely helped inspire Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, which would turn size altering into a franchise two years later.