Crack Air Force pilot Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid), disgraced and dumped on the same drunken night (after many prior warnings), enters an experimental project where he and a small motorised pod are shrunk to microscopic size, put in a syringe and then jammed into the posterior of a stressed out check-out chap named Jack Potter (Martin Short).
Only the last part wasn’t planned.
Thanks to high level 80s technology once in Jack’s bloodstream Tuck is able to navigate freely in his ship. By ‘tapping in’ to various nerves he can hear what Jack hears, see what Jack sees and eventually talk to Jack – something that doesn’t enhance Jack’s sense of personal sanity nor reduce his afore-mentioned stress levels.
Jack learns that sometimes a voice in your head doesn’t mean you’re totally nuts.
Tuck has only so much air in his pod, which is of great concern given he is in the body of a stranger instead of the laboratory test bunny he was meant for. With bad guys in pursuit hoping to harness the miniaturising technology, a finite amount of time and a disbelieving and diminutive ‘host’ Tuck fears he may not live long enough to be unpleasantly expunged ‘naturally’.
Jack too has trouble coming to grips that a tall handsome pilot is inside him, especially once he learns that the bad guys want him out, bad guys who see Jack as a four year old sees the wrapping on their long awaited Christmas present.
And you know what happens to that wrapping.
Jack teams with Tuck’s ex-girlfriend Lydia, who still hasn’t really let Tuck go (those smiling eyes!), to initially elude the pursuers and eventually find a way to extricate Tuck and the ship from this neurotic little man.
It’s all very 80s. There are some cool transformation sequences, with the ‘rebiggening’ being a highlight. The practical effects of the era are especially well handled, no CGI here, and there are some very good moments when others find themselves shrunk as well, though not nearly to the same degree as Tuck.
Final Rating – 7 / 10. In reality Innerspace is a take it or leave it film, worth experiencing, but then again if you miss it I wouldn’t panic too much. Like a Kings of Leon album.