Tonights Triple Venti Late Night Movie Club Selection is Innerspace (1987). Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) is an arrogant, drunk and washed up Pilot, that accepts a job at a private lab to “pilot” a ship that they are planning to miniaturize and inject into a lab rabbit. Of course the “bad guys” break into the laboratory and attempt to steal the experiment. In an effort to save Tuck, one of the Doctors from the lab injects him into Jack Putter (Martin Short). Jack is a meek, keep to himself hypochondriac (Tuck’s polar opposite, of course).
Through the technology on his “ship” Tuck navigates his ship to Jack’s head so he can connect with his ears and eyes, enabling him to talk to Jack and see what Jack sees. Naturally, they find out that they only have 24 hours to get Tuck back out of Jack before the miniaturization process wears off, and the bad guys have the chip needed to get Jack back out and restored to normal size.
They enlist the help of Lydia (Meg Ryan), Tuck’s longtime (and recently ex) girlfriend to help them attempt to find the bad guys, and retrieve the chip. Of course we have the typical mayhem of silly attempt to con the bad guys, get caught, escape and still try and save Tuck. Throughout you have some excitement (although no real intense danger scenes), and lots of sight gag laughs.
Through this Jack starts to fall for Lydia. But is Lydia falling for Jack? Or is she just seeming and feeling Tuck as he helps Jack through the journey? Will they get back to the lab in time to get Tuck out of Jack? Will they be able to get him restored to normal size before he runs out of air?
This movie, as silly a premise as it is, brings out what I think may very well be the best (most well suited for his skills, maybe?) performance, that I think I ever say Martin Short in. Dennis Quaid is excellent, but I may be a bit biased on that as I believe he is a grossly underrated actor. Meg Ryan, is the sweet, somewhat gullible, “hometown” girl that she is in most of her films. It is billed as a Science-Fiction, but most of it is too far fetched, and the special effects of 20 years ago (has it really been 20 years?) strain in trying to bring the believability factor home. So really, I would consider this more of a situation comedy or (pushing it a little) romantic-comedy, than real science fiction. Nobody would ever confuse this with something along the lines of Star Wars, but to 90 minutes after everybody else has gone to bed, it is something that is fun to watch.