A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Innerspace is a fun, if often silly, sci-fi adventure from the '80s about a miniaturized pilot (Dennis Quaid) who winds up injected inside the body of a neurotic store clerk (Martin Short) when an experiment goes awry. They face frequent peril from sometimes-menacing bad guys; violence includes one gunshot death (minimal blood), threats of pain and torture, fights, and more. There's also a fair bit of language (including "s--t"), drinking, and sexuality (including a shot of Quaid naked from behind), but the movie's overall tone is light, and the goofy humor will appeal to tweens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In INNERSPACE, cocky pilot Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) volunteers for a cutting-edge military science experiment: He'll be miniaturized inside a special submersible and then injected into the body of a rabbit. But after bad guys storm the facility and chaos erupts, Tuck ends up inside neurotic grocery store clerk Jack Putter (Martin Short) instead. Once Jack stops thinking he's hearing voices and enlists the help of Tuck's on-again/off-again girlfriend, reporter Lydia Maxwell (Meg Ryan), the race is on to find out who raided the lab so they can retrieve the special chip Tuck needs to reverse the miniaturization process before he runs out of air.
Is it any good?
Directed by Joe Dante, who also helmed Gremlins, Explorers, and episodes of Steven Spielberg's sci-fi anthology series Amazing Stories, Innerspace has an unmistakably '80s feel. And not just because of Ryan's spiky, bleached hairdo and shoulder pads; there's something about the movie's mix of lighthearted spirit, engaging adventure, and slightly edgier content (including drinking, swearing, and sexual humor) that has a kinship with fellow '80s movies like The Goonies, Splash, and Ghostbusters.
Innerspace isn't quite as memorable as those movies, but it's fun, and if you like Short's showy style of humor, there's plenty to laugh at (he even gets to dance around goofily a la Ed Grimley). As long as you're OK with things getting a little bawdy at times, you could do a lot worse for a tween-friendly adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the movie portrays drinking. Are there any consequences for the characters who drink? Do you think there would be additional/different ones in real life?
Is the movie scary or exciting? Why is some violence upsetting, while other action scenes are thrilling?
How do Jack and Tuck change over the course of the movie? What does each one learn from the other?
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