At home: After TNG and DS9, might as well continue with a daily dose of Star Trek actors, this time from Voyager, and featured in movies I haven't seen or reviewed yet...
Though it holds the promise of being a more comedy-minded version of Fantastic Voyage, Innerspace takes a good half-hour just to get going, during which you're meeting characters without really knowing why you are. Once Dennis Quaid's bionaut gets injected into Martin Short's ass, the biology seems more on point than in Fantastic Voyage, but his capsule's ability to affect the human system, especially but not singly because this "test mission" was supposed to be inside a rabbit, makes no sense. As a sci-fi adventure, it lets the comedy dictate what can and can't happen way too much. As a high concept entertainment, it isn't really interested in the wonders of being inside a human body, instead doing an arch James Bond shtick, with Short and Meg Ryan running from weird villains (Robert Picardo's Russian cowboy probably the most memorable). As a story, it's complete nonsense. And as a comedy, it's pretty unfunny, with broad, lame slapstick gumming up the works. The idea of Quaid acting as Short's inner voice and giving him the bravery he didn't have is interesting, and I could have done with a stricter marshaling of that theme. If this were a B-movie, I would probably be applauding how wacky it gets. But this is Amblin Entertainment. Someone really should have said something about structure, motivation and tone long before the cameras started rolling.
For a Michael Bay film, I thought The Island was pretty solid. Obviously, it looks slick, and the world-building at the front kept my interest long enough for me to want to follow Ewan McGregor's character through the obvious "rebellion from utopia/dystopia" brewing, and what seemed like mistakes (the laughably unsubtle product placement, for example), is eventually explained. With stories about a regimented society where you can win a ticket to the one uncontaminated "island", you know either the contamination will turn out to be fake, or the promised paradise is just a metaphor for death, or both, so really, even if the script (or Bay) had been interested in actually digging deeper into the surface theme of the Top 1% vs. the bottom 99, it's not like that would have been very original. So let it all happen, and enjoy the crazy action scenes when they happen. If I give the film a higher score than I might have normally, it's because of the stars, all very watchable and making me believe in this reality - McGregor of course, Scarlett Johansson as his partner in rebellion, Sean Bean and Djimon Hounsou's heavies, Steve Buscemi as the Jo Blo ally, Ethan Phillips' conspiracy theorist, and Michael Clarke Duncan as the first "ticket winner" we see. It's shallow, but it looks cool, and has a better acting pedigree than required.