Sunday, October 22, 2017

Innerspace (1987)

One definition of an odd couple might be two people that for a friendship despite being opposites in terms of personality.  Take, for instance, Jack Putter and Tuck Pendleton.  Jack is a hypochondriac who works at a Safeway who seems to like worrying about his health more than he should.  Tuck is a former Navy lieutenant who seems to like alcohol more than other people.  Jack can’t handle stress and Tuck is nothing but.  The two might never have met had it not been for a series of events.

Had Tuck not quit the Navy, he wouldn’t have needed to sign up for a miniaturization project.  When the project is attacked by another team of scientists, the project supervisor escapes with the syringe that contains Tuck.  Both the supervisor and Jack wind up in the same place at the same time.  Tuck winds up injected into Jack instead of a rabbit.

It takes Tuck a few minutes to realize what’s going on.   It’s a little more difficult convincing Jack that he’s not suffering from schizophrenia.  However, the two learn to work together with the aid of Tuck’s girlfriend, Lydia Maxwell.  They need to figure out what happened while evading the other team of scientists and their henchmen.  Oh, and they need to get the stolen computer chip and return to Tuck’s lab.  They also have a hard time limit, as Tuck has only so much oxygen.

The movie is more of a comedy than a drama.  You know that it’s going to come down to the last minute, but Tuck and Jack will get out of it ok.  It does also come of as somewhat goofy, which is to be expected with Martin Short.  However, it doesn’t agonize over the details.  The oxygen is a concern, but doesn’t seem to be a pressing one until later in the movie.  (Also, how is Tuck able to drink regular-sized alcohol after he’s been shrunk?)  It’s mostly going after the bad guys and becoming friends in the process.

Potential uses for the technology are never really discussed in detail.  Ostensibly, it could be very useful for medical purposes, especially in diagnosing various ailments.  (You could find out exactly where an artery is blocked and possibly even unblock it.)  One would imagine that it would also be useful for espionage, as you could inject an operative into a foreign agent.

It’s also odd that Tuck was injected into someone who was barely capable of getting him back.  What would have happened if he had been injected into someone that couldn’t get him back?  For that matter, what would have happened if he had been injected into a martial arts expert?  It’s just enough to keep the story going without being implausible.  We can identify with Jack as being someone who could but would probably rather not.  The movie is enjoyable in that it’s not difficult to overlook these things.  Like I said, it’s a comedy.  They’re not going to team up two really great people.  Where’s the fun in that?

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