Lost in Space (1998)

Speaking as a member of the film's intended audience-- video-game
geeks with sci-fi sensibilities-- LOST IN SPACE is, oh, two-thirds
of a satisfying experience.  Maybe three-quarters worth.  Director
Stephen Hopkins (THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS) and screenwriter Akiva
Goldsman (BATMAN AND ROBIN) update the late-sixties television ser-
ies in a straight-played fashion, with minimal traces of camp or
cheese.  Once again, the Space Family Robinson (William Hurt, Mimi
Rogers, Heather Graham, Lacey Chabert, and Jack Johnson as Danger 
Will) is lost, through a densely plotted series of events that in-
cludes everything from terrorist attacks to a dying mother Earth.  
The upshot:  the family flies off to colonize some planet; Dr. 
Smith (Gary Oldman) sabotages their ship; Major Don West (Matt 
LeBlanc) saves their asses; and the Jupiter 2 emerges from hyper-
space on the far side of the galaxy, where, of course, adventures 

Despite an extraordinary amount of gadgets, gizmos, big sets, and 
brilliant effects, LOST IN SPACE is never entirely exciting.  It's 
a ride, sure, but never edge-of-your-seat so.  (Part of the prob-
lem, I think, is that the effects are often "flat."  You know, in 
that way that only computer-generated visuals-- or bad matte paint-
ings-- can be.)  The cast compensates, though, with their character 
interactions often outperforming the laser light shows.  (When Mom 
interrupts a "pissing contest" between the men, for example, the 
confrontation crackles with more energy than any explosion or run-
away robot sequence.)  There's even an effectively schmaltzy end-
ing, that might bring a tear if the bass-ackwards technobabble 
doesn't distract you.  (Since when does your standard-issue time 
machine also cross space?)  I did notice one seemingly glaring 
gaffe:  the model of the launch craft appears to slightly break 
apart when the explosions are ignited.  Was that suppose to happen?  
Just curious...  (Rated "PG"/122 min.)

Grade: B-

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: April 6, 1998

Home   |   Recommended   |   Reviews   |   Views   |   Letters   |   Links   |   FAQ   |   Search!

Please report problems to mike@legeros.com
Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros