Movie Review: Innerspace: The Surprising Eighties

I don’t even know why I picked this movie up. I saw it on some list, threw it on my library request list, and forgot about it. Weeks later, it showed up at my library, like a discarded puppy, vaguely endearing, but simultaneously troubling. So, I picked it up, and hoped it wouldn’t pee all over my carpet, secure in the knowledge that, were it bad, I could give it back, and were it terrible, I could drive nails through its corny, anti-intellectual, ill-researched aluminum self, trying to forget that movies just as corny, anti-intellectual, and ill-researched are stamped out by the millions for less than it costs to produce nails.

In this case, I was pleasantly surprised. Not that there wasn’t the occasional yellow puddle on the carpet. (I don’t know why I’m still running with this analogy… I get the feeling no one’s chasing me, except to tell me to put it down before it absorbs me in a puddle of not-so-goodishness.) Okay, plotline, because you probably haven’t seen it. Dennis Quaid is a hotshot test pilot, depressed because he’s not graduated Top Gun, or some such thing. He’s working on a project to be shrunk down in a vaguely cell-size inner-body submersible, to be injected into a bunny, because, “miniaturization is the future”… or something like that. Anyway, because of industrial espionage, Quaid is not stuck into the bunny, instead, he’s stuck into Martin Short. Chaos ensues, etc… Along the way, Quaid can see what Martin can see by plugging into Martin’s ocular nerve… which anyone who has studied vision will laugh hysterically at… and Quaid at one point cuts a hole in Martin’s artery about half an inch from the heart, causing no apparent problems for Martin.

If we suspend our disbelief like a 16-ton weight hanging from a spider web, the movie proves, despite all this, to be surprisingly entertaining. There are more than a few good lines, and a host of ironic situations which lead to more than common amusement. On the philosophical side, one could probably draw all sorts of Top-Gun esque military-is-repressed-gay parable parallels (it’s a movie about one guy being in another, how hard can it be?) but I won’t go there.

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