CIA agent Grant (Stephen Boyd - Billy Rose's Jumbo) has been a critical part of the team who helped Russian scientist Jan Benes (Jean Del Val) to defect to America. Benes' discovery of how to shrink soldiers and keep them shrunk is much wanted and when the motorcade taking him from the airport to the lab gets attacked he suffers a bang on his head and a life threatening blood clot. So when they decide to operate they want Grant to provide security except this is an operation with a difference as the plan is to shrink the doctors and Grant in a submarine and then inject them into Benes body with 60 minutes to complete the surgery and get out.
Now for anyone who knows their movies will have guessed there is more to "Fantastic Voyage" than that short synopsis because why would you take an Agent as security when you are going in to the human body. And so of course we have Grant being suspicious of the doctors in the team in case one of them is in fact a traitor and is there to sabotage things. Plus if you know your movies and actors you could easily lay money on who the bad guy is early one.
But whilst we have the storyline "Fantastic Voyage" is all about the fantastic effects and drama of a shrunken sub navigating the human body. Even now "Fantastic Voyage" delivers some brilliant special effects as well as creativity when it comes to the inside of the submarine. Yes technology has moved on and CGI has the ability to make things sometimes more realistic but it is the creativity of the effects which make it so entertaining.
In truth it is the effects which keep you watching when the performances let you down because whilst it features a recognizable cast the acting isn't great. In many ways the acting is typical of the 1960's but with some weak dialogue especially when it comes to the inevitable flirting between Grant and assistant Cora it feels dated and a little cheesy.
What this all boils down to is that "Fantastic Voyage" is fantastic but that is down to the special effects and the idea of a sub swimming around the human body rather than because of the acting.