Dave Ming Chang (Eddie Murphy), newly arrived in New York City, may be the ultimate fish out of water. There's something about him that's not quite rightfor starters, he seems remarkably out of place and uncomfortable in his own body. And for good reason: "Dave" is not a man at all, but a ship made in the image of its miniaturesized captain.
So let's meet Dave. He's forty-something, pleasant looking and nattily dressed, even if his attirean all-white suit, black tie and a neat black handkerchief tucked in his pocketharkens back to the disco-centric '70s. But beyond his odd apparel, there's something not quite right about Dave. He's definitely not from the neighborhood...not even close. Even the way he walks is....odd; as he makes his way through the streets of New York, one of his legs shoots out way too far with each step, like he's not comfortable in his own body.
And for good reason: inside "Dave" is a crew of well-trained miniature peoplea world within a worldthat feverishly attempts to direct Dave's every action and conversation. In each section of Dave's "body," a skilled crewperson (average height: one and three-quarters inches), sporting an insignia depicting a specific part of Dave's anatomy, mans a high tech console controlling Dave's movements.
But Dave's crew, under the direction of the Captain from whom Dave takes his appearanceis experiencing a steep learning curve. When Dave attempts his first-ever sip of water, a tremendous wave of water rushes down, drenching everyone inside. When Dave tries on some clothing, a shirt becomes a cotton beast bent on smothering him. When he goes in for a simple medical exam, the metallic Dave must battle formidable magnetic forces from an MRI. And a banquet of processed meat tubes he learns are called "hot dogs," leads to an explosive situation inside a men's room.
As Davethat is, those inside Daveslowly navigates his way through these physical challenges, they begin to experience something with even more profound effects. A glimmer of emotion sweeps over the crew, which hails from a place that discourages emotion and individuality. Dave is changingfrom the inside-out, and from the outside-in.