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October 29, 2010

Versus: Innerspace vs. Osmosis Jones

Versus is designed to compare two or more similar movies or characters in order to determine who or what is the best version. I break it down by category and score each one on a scale of 1 - 5. The highest total score in the end wins. Even I don't know who will win until it's over. This is my game played by my rules. If you don't like it, tough noogies.

Innerspace vs. Osmosis Jones

When I was in the sixth grade, my class earned the chance to spend the afternoon watching a movie. My teacher, Mr. Holly, brought in something that has stuck with me for many years. Innerspace was different and weird, and I loved it. Martin Short, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid were all bonafide stars that were moving up the ladder. Years later, a similar idea come to light. It was half animated and half live action. It starred Chris Rock and David Hyde Pierce as the heroes and Bill Murray as their host. They were both good, but which was better? This is where I come in.

The Heroes

Lt. Tuck Pendleton

Take a no holds barred hero that's willing to do anything for glory, add liquor and stir. That's pretty much where Tuck Pendleton sits. When given the opportunity to be shrunken to a microscopic size in order to study a rabbit from the inside, Tuck jumped at the chance. He ended up inside of a grocery clerk, but that was not the plan. When the situation changed, Tuck rolled with it and made things work.

Score: 4.25


Osmosis Jones

Os, as his friends might call him, is a white blood cell turned out of control cop. He patrols the body in order to keep illness and disease out of the picture. He's reckless at times, and he's often in trouble because of it. Though he never seems to get a break, he turns out to be the one guy tough and crazy enough to take on the life threatening virus that decides to invade his host.

Score: 4


The Hosts

Jack Putter

This mild mannered and highly stressed grocery clerk has problems. He has recurring nightmares about being shot. He is in need of a vacation. Unfortunately for him, a doctor on the run injects a manned ship into his ass, and it's all chaos from there. Putter is a mess, but he becomes a heroic figure who not only takes care of the girl, but helps save Tuck from becoming debris in his blood stream.

Score: 4.5

Frank Detorre

Frank is a mess. He is a zookeeper who doesn't take care of himself at all. In fact, if it wasn't for his daughter, he would have already been dead. Frank really doesn't participate in the adventure. His body serves as host to this war of germ against white blood cell. He isn't even aware of what's going on. He has funny moments, but the movie could easily have been done without him, and this was realized once the television series was made.

Score: 2

Medical Help

Dr. Niles and His Staff

Tuck's best buddy helps lead the way to his rescue at the end of the film, but all of the doctors deserve credit here. One even loses his life just to save Tuck's and inject him into Putter. Niles pulls Pendleton out of a sneeze spray on his glasses in order to bring him back to size. They're not in the film very long, but they do set the story in motion.

Score: 3.75


A cold pill on a mission enters Frank's system in order to ease his illness. Voiced by David Hyde Pierce, Drix has an anal tone to him that many people could find irritating. Armed with a time released arm cannon full of antibiotics, Drix is the polar opposite of Chris Rock's Osmosis. The cliche "black guy teaches white guy to be cool" thing occurs between Os and Drix, and that really doesn't need to happen. However, the two do work well as a team, and they do prevail in the end.

Score : 3.25

The Love Interests

Lydia Maxwell

In the 1980s, nobody defined the word cute better than Meg Ryan. At the same time, she was able to be a convincing tough girl. In Innerspace, she showed the best of both sides. When Putter contacts Lydia to help save Tuck, who she just dumped, she has her reservations, but ends up going all out to save the day. She uses her sexy side to trick the bad guys.

Score: 4.75


The mayor's assistant constantly spurns Os' advances, but he never gives up. When the residents of Frank start to panic, including the mayor, Leah keeps it together. She eventually realizes that Os and Drix are on the right track in stopping Thrax, and she helps the cause.

Score: 4.25

The Villains

Victor Scrimshaw, The Cowboy, Dr. Canker and Mr. Igoe

This ragtag group of villains is equal parts douchebag and buffoon. The cast is made up of a who's who of '80s character actors, and they are fun to watch. Each character couldn't be more different from the next. Victor is the angry boss, The Cowboy is a ladies' man who can kick ass, Dr Canker is cold and sexy, and Mr. Igoe is a monster without a heart. When Igoe is shrunken down and injected into Putter, it makes for an interesting duel in Putter's stomach.

Score: 5


The evil virus Thrax just has one mission. He wants to kill. He does so by stealing a little tiny cell that holds a person's life force. He keeps these little cells on a special charm bracelet that he carries around. He's a little derivative and deosn't have much depth, but he is pure evil as he makes Frank the next target on his killing tour.

Score: 4



I watched this again recently, and it's still lots of silly fun. The characters hold up, the story is fine and the effects are really good for 1987. This was a great way to take the 1980s space fascination in a unique direction.

Total Score: 22.25 out of 25

Osmosis Jones

I really liked this the first time I watched it. I thought it was a fun way to mix live action and animation. Like Innerspace, Osmosis Jones takes an old genre, being the buddy cop film, and puts it in a new setting. Though every story may have been told, I like when someone tells an old story in a new way.

Total Score: 17.50 out of 25

The Winner:

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