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Joe Dante's Fantastic Voyage
on 21 July 2002
An underrated gem of an action adventure movie, INNERSPACE is director Joe 'Gremlins' Dante's spin on 60's classic FANTASTIC VOYAGE, which saw a team of scientists shrunk to microscopic proportions and injected into a human body.
This time it's Dennis Quaid's turn to get miniaturised and injected (into a bunny this time round) for experimental purposes, except he doesn't quite get there...
Quaid, as test pilot Tuck Pendelton, is a great old-fashioned movie hero here, a cross between a young Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford, and at this stage in his career it looked like that's where he was headed.
The real hero of the piece, however, is the inestimable Martin Short, who plays meek supermarket clerk Jack Putter, an absolute dweeb whose life is turned upside down by the accidental addition of Tuck into his bloodstream.
Short is physically and verbally hilarious as he goes through panic, confusion and eventually sheer heroism, spurred on by this 'alien' presence inside him. Plus there's Meg Ryan in a typically goofy 80's role for added fun.
The action never lets up and the effects are spectacular (and hey, no CGI in sight!) building to the (literally) breathless climax in Short's oesophagus (er, that didn't come out right), as Tuck does battle with another miniaturised craft set to destroy him.
As it's a Joe Dante film, it has all the director's trademarks; actors Robert Picardo (as the hysterical Cowboy; "Women love me"), Dick Miller (as a grumpy taxi driver), cartoonist Chuck Jones, Henry Gibson, plus the usual quota of film references, in-jokery and repeat-viewing-worthy gags (check out how many references there are to rabbits or Alice in Wonderland). Not to mention a cracking, heart-thumping score by Jerry Goldsmith, the John Williams to Dante's Spielberg.
What more could anyone ask? It's silly, it's fun, it really is a fantastic voyage. And on DVD, that picture and sound is going to be jugular-poundingly good. Relive the fun!!