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Innerspace

Year: 1987
Production Co: Amblin Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Joe Dante
Producer: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Vernon Wells, Wendy Schaal, Henry Gibson, Dick Miller, Joe Dante, Chuck Jones
An underappreciated gem and one of the best movies to come from the creative hotbed of the Spielberg/Dante/Zemeckis.

The premise of miniaturisation could have been the basis for a huge, clanking, overblown sci-fi thriller, but Innerspace instead crafts a cool story with great characters around it.

Loose cannon test pilot Tuck Pendleton (Quaid) is about to be ousted from the navy because of his old school, hard drinking and rebellious ways when he's initiated into a test program to miniaturise him inside a submersible craft.

But the typically shambolic government-funded lab isn't the only one interested in cornering the market in this new science, and a team from evil industrialist Scrimshaw (McCarthy) breaks in to steal the secrets when Tuck and the craft are transported to the microworld.

The head of the project makes an escape with Pendleton's craft in a syringe and Scrimshaw's goons chase him into a local mall where he injects tuck into nerdy supermarket clerk Jack Putter (Short).

Jakc goes on the run with the tiny Pendleton issuing instructions from within, including fleecing Pendleton's feisty reporter ex girlfriend Lydia (Ryan) and trying to work out what to do next.

Lots of chases, laughs and great graphics considering the time it was made, and combined with some ephemeral quality I never could put my finger on, it's endlessly watchable.

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