Fantastic Voyage Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2013
What a title! set to impress with a claim like that huh. This film really is a piece of history, an old iconic pop culture movie that has inspired so many other ideas in various formats. What is interesting is (like some original sci-fi concepts) back in 66 when this film was made the idea was of course deemed fantasy, these days I don't think it is, well with robots anyway.

The plot is classic, you all know it, a group of scientists are miniaturised to microscopic proportions in order to enter the human body of a man with a brain clot. The reason, to save him obviously, and because he knows the secret to the miniaturising technology and how to perfect it. At the same time other folk (pesky Russians) are trying to whack him because he defected to the US with the technology secrets. There's a time limit, the stakes are high and everybody will revert back to their normal size when the limit expires, game on.

The start of the story is actually pretty technical in my opinion, its all quite meticulous and realistic (as far as the fantasy goes). Compare this to the 80's revamp 'InnerSpace' and this film is far superior in my humble opinion. Where as 'InnerSpace' is a very wacky over the top comedy (good comedy), this is far more sensible which I didn't expect really, it works so much better despite being a slow build up.

What I love about this film is the visuals, now I'm very sure in reality if this happened it would be pitch black inside a body, apart from what the ships lights illuminated hehe. However here we have a vibrant underwater-like ocean of life, a rainbow of soft glowing colours in a gloopy sea of bodily fluids. Within these fluids (mainly blood) we see hundreds of transparent blue and pink oxygen carrying corpuscles, antibodies, fibers, proteins, bacteria etc...whilst the crew venture through the heart and lungs on their way to the brain.

The whole visual experience looks like errr...a lava lamp and quite psychedelia in a soft way, not surprising seeing as this was the mid 60's.

What I do find amusing throughout the film is how much bad luck the team has the moment they enter the body (fantastic little injection sequence I must add, really effective). Straight away they have big problems which basically means they might have to abort, oh well can't get around that, game over, lets go. Then someone has a brilliant plan and they manage to overcome the issue, five minutes later they hit another problem, oh well can't get around that, game over, lets go. Someone has a great plan and they overcome the issue, turn the next corner bang! another problem, oh well can't get around that, game ov....etc...

How about the Proteus eh? now is that another iconic sci-fi design or what. Love the shape of that sub with the little bubble dome on top, sound effects are nice too, it reminds me of a ship from the cartoon 'The Jetsons' puttering around. It looks like they built a full scale ship too, really lovely craftsmanship, looks gorgeous, very realistic.

Despite looking like an old 'Star Trek' episode this film is a truly award winning entertainment machine. Not only does it look great (and still works well today) but its pretty tense at times too. The final moments for Donald Pleasence are still a bit harrowing as he is slowly engulfed by a large white corpuscle. His frantic squirming and panicking unnerve you quite a bit...'I can't move my hands!. I'm stuck and I can't...I can't move my hands!...Get me out!!'. Mr Pleasence most definitely steals the show throughout this film no doubt, Welsh as usual is nothing more than eye candy in a tight white jumpsuit. Quite liked Edmond O'Brien as the gruff General, everyone else was you're regular cliched sci-fi character.

All in all a fine example of good fun science fiction. Some plot holes do reveal themselves which do spoil it admittedly, mainly at the end when the Proteus is left inside the patients body half digested along with the laser gun, the bad doctor's remains (Pleasant) and all the fluid used to inject the crew originally. Surely that would all revert and cause death?. But a few niggly bits aside this film is solidly exhilarating with a lovely rose tinted charm that hasn't died in all these years.
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2011
Back in the 60's this probably was an amazing movie. A scifi classic. The story is original and I loved the initial credits. Unfortunately is out of date. The FX are good but everything seems too static to represent the inner space. However is a good scfi story with a semi-slow rythm that create some suspense but I wouldn't recommend it if you have seen a lot of Cameron movies.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
I know a lot of people today think that the special effects in this movie were too silly or fake looking, but to me they were too realistic, they creeped me out. The story is interesting, but a bit slow and sometimes really boring. It's pretty good, though it could have been better.
Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2009
To enjoy this movie one must turn off their brain as soon as the theme tune of 20th Century Fox starts . The whole set up is very hard to swallow - A scientist who know the secret of miniaturization is injured by commie assassins and now lies in a coma due to a blood clot on the brain and only by miniaturizing a submarine type capsule and sending both it and its crew through an artery can both the scientist and free world be saved . It's never actually explained as to why miniaturizing is such a radical development for espionage or warfare . Think about it does this mean you can infiltrate the Kremlin by sending an envelope containing a miniaturized army ? Seeing as the enemy are aware of the process they can easily protect themselves against this - By running a rolling pin over all incoming mail . And wouldn't shrinking someone to the size of something little bigger than an element kill them anyway due to the changes in mass ? Wouldn't air pressure alone kill any miniaturized person ? And wouldn't it have been a good idea to vet the crew to find out if any of them were claustrophobic before sending them on their mission ?

You understand what I'm saying don't you ? The ideas and plot devices presented are entirely laughable because of their nature , that's why I told you to stop thinking about it . If you manage this you've got a pretty enjoyable escapist fantasy once it gets started . You realise that if the capsule crew go on an uneventful journey we wouldn't have much of a movie so we find obstacles at every corner involving detours , anti-bodies and a traitor within and if none of this gets you excited how about Raquel Welch in a really tight costume ? What do you mean she hasn't been given any decent lines ?
Super Reviewer
May 24, 2007
Slow-paced, and not terribly exciting in the least. Still, the premise is enough to earn a high degree of interest, and although the effects are terribly dated, they still manage to hold up well (probably due to a lack of other journey-into -the-center-of-the -body movies as comparison)

Not the most entertaining of sci-fi movies, but still refreshing in its originality.
Super Reviewer
April 12, 2007
A rather absurd pseudo-scientific sci-fi in which a submarine and it's crew are shrunk to microscopic size to perform surgery on a dying scientist from the inside. Really it's just a dull series of feeble "action" sequences in which the tiny crew are menaced by various poorly realized bodily functions, leaving Ms Welch's ample cleavage to save the day (yet again...)
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2009
One of the original sci-fi classics that holds up in spite of the obviously dated visual effects. A group of scientists is miniaturized so they, and their submersible, can be injected into the body of a diplomat who suffers an otherwise inoperable brain injury during an assassination attempt. I solid group of actors make the movie successful to this day, and obviously the producers were happy to get Raquel Welch into a skin tight diving suit. While the visual effect are firmly stuck in 1966, they are still visually impressive to look at, and won this movie the Oscar for visual effects that year. A couple of characters to the requisite spelling out of the medical procedures in true sci-fi form. It's a fast moving movie, exploring the workings of the human body, and a true classic in science fiction.
Super Reviewer
½ July 11, 2007
Unbeleivable. I'd watch it again now.
½ July 30, 2015
Notable for its place in scifi history, but it doesn't hold up much now. Very influential in terms of cinema history, including the Archer episode that pays homage to it that made me want to seek this out in the first place. I wish the ending of Fantastic Voyage had the same ending as that episode of Archer, lol.
½ February 22, 2014
Considering when it was made, this is still a great science fiction fantasy with impressive special effects and a sense of old school fun and adventure. I like the real-time aspect of the story and though the characters are not too deep (Donald Pleasence is the only one with something fun to do), they aren't really the stars of the show anyway. It is a journey through the human body. Enjoy the ride.

Grade: B+
August 19, 2008
There was a lot of hype for this movie when it came out. It's a science fiction story but all the technology in the movie was current for the 1960's. There are 707 jet planes, overhead projectors, World War II era firearms, teletypes, line printers, black and white TV monitors, electric golf carts, and big cars. The story hints at a cold war with "the other side". The whole idea that you can shrink a submarine with people inside is something from a cheap TV show. This was the best special effects available in the 1960's. It would have been impressive on a big screen in a theater. The real attraction to the movie was Raquel Welch in a white wet suit. In the story they are trying to unblock a blood clot in the brain of an important scientist. The irony is that today that can be treated with drugs or with miniature catheters. There is research being done on building micro machines. Someday they might have microscopic machines to clean the plaque out of people's veins. The idea of a shrink ray is pure fiction.
½ June 11, 2011
I guess the movie for its time was marvelous but I had a lot of troubles getting into the story. I believe the main issue of the movie is the plot (or mostly the dialogue) that are too vague, not enough information, it's like the characters are thrown into the movie without any reasons. However, the idea of being inside the human body is very exciting. I would say the beginning of the movie is far too slow and doesn't help the plot... But it is still a good movie, that could have been better!
December 13, 2010
I'd like to underscore the journey through the bloodstream with "Incense and Peppermints"....seems appropriate. overall a pretty cool movie. a nice change of pace from space-based sci fi and a really clever story idea. some awesome 60s special effects, too--trippy, yet effective. the writing is, for the most part, hilariously bad. aside from the fact that I was never exactly clear who they were saving, why they were saving him, and if they actually succeeded, a lot of the dialogue is just priceless. Stephen Boyd's character is smugly sarcastic and witty, but he's not really good at it. just about every character (but especially Donald Pleasence) can get talked into anything in about 10 seconds. "We can't possibly do that. It's far too dangerous." "But what if we try real hard?" "All right, we'll go for it." on that note, there's virtually no conflict or drama to be had in this movie. there are a few slightly tense "will they make it?" moments, but mostly it's just a very light, very entertaining adventure. it's not entirely fulfilling, but it's still enjoyable.
½ August 2, 2009
The special effects by today's standards may seem a bit tame, but in 1966 they were creative and imaginative, and still look good. The concept for the film is rather fascinating and it is done quite well, Colorful and well produced.
½ July 3, 2008
Sounds great doesn't it? Shrinking a team of scientists in a little craft to inject them into the human body? I've seen lots of versions of this from cartoons to Innerspace. But this one was boring and not very fantastic....
½ January 19, 2008
Watch it in fast-forward to get a feel for pre-Star Wars special effects. but the story is slow and merely a vehicle to allow them to go inside the human body. Raquel Welch plays a much less impressive character in this film than One Million Years BC... which is saying something.
December 30, 2007
This was a great concept of human doctors going inside a body through their veins and healing the patient.
August 20, 2007
In its day, it was a good movie with excellent special effects. Not sure where you will find this one to watch, unless it shows up on the "late, late,show"
July 9, 2007
One of the greatest sci-fi movies ever done. Good special effects considering this was made before modern special effects even came into existence.
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