December 2, 2016
Review #881: Fantastic Voyage.
Stephen Boyd (Charles Grant), Raquel Welch (Cora Peterson), Edmond O'Brien (General Carter), Donald Pleasence (Dr. Michaels), Arthur O'Connell (Colonel Donald Reid), William Redfield (Captain Bill Owens), Arthur Kennedy (Dr. Peter Duval), and Jean Del Val (Dr. Jan Benes) Directed by Richard Fleischer (#453 - Soylent Green, #460 - Doctor Dolittle, #624 - Conan the Destroyer, #829 - Red Sonja, and #870 - The Narrow Margin)
Fantastic Voyage is an entertaining movie that manages to have enough spectacle moments and a fine amount of atmosphere to overcome some structural faults. The film moves at a relatively adequate pace, trying to set up its plot with some form of legitimacy and pace, not taking too long to get to the body effects. Boyd is fairly decent as this every-man kind of role, not being too strong or dull in any one direction. Welch is interesting, though she isn't given too much screen time. Pleasence is engaging as always, giving off the right sense of clout. The effects are the showcase for the movie, and they are quite interesting for the time (1966) it was made, especially when you first see the body, giving off a sense of wonder. There are some fairly good moments, such as when they have to go through the ear drum, with silence required throughout the operating room in normal size. It takes its time while building up tension, with a fairly good culminating noise and ensuing action. The plot-holes that enter the surface around the climax derail some of the momentum, such as the fact the ship is left in the body at the end (Isaac Asimov fixed this in his novelization of the movie, which managed to be released months before the film). The saboteur revealed at the end is a bit strange, in that there really isn't too much motivation given for it besides "working for the other side". However, the film is entertaining enough that this can be somewhat forgiven. If the film wasn't as interesting, it wouldn't be easy to forgive.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.