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|Directed by||Joe Dante|
|Produced by||Michael Finnell|
|Screenplay by||Jeffrey Boam
|Story by||Chip Proser|
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Editing by||Kent Beyda|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||120 minutes|
|Box office||$25,893,810 (domestic)|
Innerspace is a 1987 science fiction comedy film directed by Joe Dante and produced by Michael Finnell. Steven Spielberg served as executive producer. The film was inspired by the classic 1966 science fiction film Fantastic Voyage. It stars Dennis Quaid, Martin Short and Meg Ryan, with Robert Picardo and Kevin McCarthy, with music composed by Jerry Goldsmith. It earned $25,893,810 of domestic gross revenue and won an Oscar, the only film directed by Dante to do so.
Down-on-his-luck naval aviator Lt. Tuck Pendleton (Quaid) resigns his commission and volunteers for a secret miniaturization experiment. He is placed in a submersible pod, and both are shrunk to microscopic size. They are transferred into a syringe to be injected into a rabbit, but the lab is attacked by a rival and criminal organization led by renegade scientist Dr. Margaret Canker (Fiona Lewis) planning to seize the experiment and steal their technology.
The experiment supervisor Ozzie Wexler (John Hora), knowing their intentions, escapes with the syringe. A chase ensues with one of Margaret's henchman to a nearby shopping mall. After being fatally shot and knowing he is about to die, he injects Tuck and the pod into an unsuspecting Jack Putter (Martin Short), a hypochondriac grocery store clerk who happens to be the first person he comes into contact with.
On awakening from unconsciousness, Tuck is unaware of what has happened and believes he's been injected into the rabbit. It's only when all attempts to radio the lab are unsuccessful that he navigates the pod to the optic nerve and implants a camera so he is able to see what the "host" sees. This is when he realises he is inside a human. In an effort to make contact, Tuck attaches another device to Jack's inner ear, enabling him to talk to Jack, initially with embarrassing consequences. Tuck explains that the pod has only a few hours' supply of oxygen and needs his help in order to extract him by going back to the lab.
At the lab, the scientists explain to Tuck and Jack that the other group wants to sell the miniaturization technology for use in espionage. In the raid on the lab, they stole one of two computer chips that are vital to the process. The group's mastermind is Victor Scrimshaw (Kevin McCarthy), and his main henchmen are "the Cowboy" (Robert Picardo), Mr. Igoe (Vernon Wells) and Margaret is scientific supervisor.
By contacting Tucks's estranged girlfriend Lydia Maxwell (Meg Ryan), who has had dealings with the Cowboy, they learn that the Cowboy plans to buy the computer chip from Scrimshaw. After knocking the Cowboy unconscious using the pod's equipment, Tuck controls the muscles of Jack's face to make it look like the Cowboy's, and with him posing as the Cowboy, they meet with Scrimshaw and steal the chip from him. However, as they're about to take possession of the chip, Jack's nervousness overrides the transformation of his face, exposing the scam. Mr. Igoe captures Jack and Lydia and takes them to the lab. While imprisoned Jack and Lydia share a kiss, which unknown to them transfers Tuck into Lydia's body through their saliva. Once taken to the lab, the criminals miniaturize Igoe and inject him into Jack to locate Tuck, kill him and obtain the other chip which is attached to the pod.
Once Igoe has been injected, Jack and Lydia escape, steal back the chip and order everyone in the lab into the miniaturization device including Scrimshaw and Margaret. However not knowing how to operate it, they only manage to miniaturize everyone to 50% of the original size. Tuck, now inside Lydia finds a growing baby and realises not only is he inside her but that she is pregnant with his child. By going to Lydia's ear drum and playing their song he is able to alert them what has happened at which point they kiss again to transfer Tuck back. After fighting their way through a couple more guards they frantically drive back to the lab in order to enlarge Tuck, not realizing that miniature versions of Scrimshaw and Margaret are hiding in the back seat and trying to make them crash. Meanwhile Igoe locates Tuck and attacks him, but Tuck disables Igoe's craft, and when he abandons it and clings to the pod, Tuck kills him by dropping him into Jack's stomach, where Mr. Igoe is digested.
Back at the lab, with only minutes of supplemental oxygen left in the pod, Jack follows Tuck's instructions to eject the pod from his lungs by making himself sneeze. Tuck and the pod are successfully enlarged, and is reunited with Lydia and finally gets to meet Jack in person. The films ends at Tuck and Lydia's wedding, held at Wayfarers Chapel, where Tuck has the chips from the experiment as his cuff links. When they climb into the limousine, it is revealed that Cowboy is the driver and Margaret and Scrimshaw are hiding in the trunk, inside a suitcase. Now confident and in control of his life, Jack recognizes the Cowboy and jumps into Tuck's vintage Mustang, pursuing the limousine to rescue the newlyweds.
- Dennis Quaid as Lt. Tuck Pendleton
- Martin Short as Jack Putter
- Meg Ryan as Lydia Maxwell
- Kevin McCarthy as Victor Scrimshaw
- Fiona Lewis as Dr. Margaret Canker
- Robert Picardo as The Cowboy
- Vernon Wells as Mr. Igoe
- Henry Gibson as Mr. Wormwood
- William Schallert as Dr. Greenbrush
- Wendy Schaal as Wendy
- Harold Sylvester as Pete Blanchard
- Mark L. Taylor as Dr. David Niles
- John Hora as Dr. Ozzie Wexler
- Orson Bean as Lydia's Editor
- Kevin Hooks as Duane Florney
- Kathleen Freeman as Dream Lady
- Jason Laskay as Scrimshaw's Henchman 1
- Frank A. Miller as Scrimshaw's Henchman 2
- Dick Miller as Cab Driver
- Neil Ross as Pod Computer (voice)
- 1988 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, Won
- 1988 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Best Director, Best Science Fiction Film, Best Special Effects, nominated
Box office and reception
The movie had a positive reception. Currently, the review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 81% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 36 reviews, with an average score of 6.6/10 and the critical consensus: "A manic, overstuffed blend of sci-fi, comedy and romance, Innerspace nonetheless charms, thanks to Martin Short's fine performance and the insistent zaniness of the plot."
Darian Leader, a British author, comments,
In the science fantasy Innerspace, a wimp is turned into a real man by having a miniature submarine injected into his bloodstream. The pilot of the submarine is by no means a wimp and the tension between pilot and host organism provides much of the film's humour. But what matters here is less the fact that the sub is piloted by an authentic "hero" than that something symbolic, a production of science, has been incorporated into the body. To be a man means to have a body plus something symbolic, something which is not ultimately human.
- "Innerspace". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
- Benson, Sheila (1987-07-01). "MOVIE REVIEWS : TAKING IN THE SIGHTS OF INNER AND OUTER JUNKETS : Hilarious and Inventive Trip to 'Innerspace'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Corliss, Richard (1987-07-13). "Cinema: A Funny, Fantastic Voyage INNERSPACE". Time. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- "Innerspace Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
- Leader, Darian. Why do women write more letters than they post? London: Faber & Faber, 1996, p. 28
- Innerspace at the Internet Movie Database
- Innerspace at allmovie
- Innerspace at Box Office Mojo
- Innerspace at Rotten Tomatoes