Innerspace ★★★½

The movie features incredible production design, sets, visual effects, costumes, and a great cast with plenty of great gags. The concept is ripe with potential, and while the filmmakers weren't insanely innovative with the gimmick, the onscreen action was always entertaining. Young Dennis Quaid reminded me of the instant charm of Tom Cruise with the rogue scruffiness of Harrison Ford. I want to see more movies with this guy. Martin Short was probably the best part of the movie, and I loved every scene where he pretended to be other people. But sadly, I felt Meg Ryan was completely wasted as a sidelined love interest.

The romance issue is part of a bigger problem overall: The story is boring and nonsensical. The movie has plenty of funny moments but the connecting story and overall structure were really not good. Maybe that's supposed to be part of the fun of it? I think my issue might just be that Joe Dante's sense of humor isn't for me. I really enjoyed Gremlins 1, but not the wilder Gremlins 2, and Innerspace falls squarely between the two, in chronology, tone, style, and humor. (I still need to see Small Soldiers). I didn't like Innerspace a lot when I was younger, but I wanted to give it another chance because my mom recently told me she actually loves it. After the movie when I asked her why, she admitted she didn't know.

Moms aren't always right.