LOST IN SPACE (1998) 

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William Hurt
Gary Oldman
Matt LeBlanc
Heather Graham
Mimi Rogers
Lacy Chabert
Jack Johnson

Stephen Hopkins



Time: 130 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Science Fiction/Action

Not being a fan of the original series (I wasn't alive yet, which made it hard to watch), I held no out of the ordinary expectations for this movie. I thought fairly good cast (they've all proven they can act in other films), cutting edge special effects, what could be better? Well, it turns out watching paint dry would have been about as interesting and certainly less annoying. For the most part the acting was forced and at times just plain silly. It's pretty sad when all the adult actors in the film (except Oldman of course) are upstaged by a 10-year-old boy and his pet robot. The women's roles were invisible when they weren't just plain irritating (every minute of screen time containing Lacy Chabert). The men were just throwing their testosterone around, which is par for the course in an action film, but I'm sorry, I could beat up William Hurt so how could I believe that either Oldman or LeBlanc would be scared of him? One thing I have to say is that LeBlanc surprised me. He wasn't as bad as he could have been, holding his own with the big boys – which is why you should be scared.

The plot is negligible. The Robinsons are sent on a mission that will enable the people of Earth to recolonize a distant planet before the human race kills Earth for good. Of course, there are warring factions who don't want them to succeed and the kids don't want to leave their lives on Earth. To top it all off Dr. Robinson (Hurt) is portrayed as a bad father who spends too much time at work and not enough at home paying attention to his son Will. It's family melodrama at its most trite. The mission goes horribly wrong thanks to the meddling of Dr. Smith (Oldman), who, unfortunately for him, gets trapped on the ship after setting it up to explode. In order to avoid plunging into the sun, they jump into hyperdrive and wind up "lost in space", which the women seem to remind us of every 10 minutes or so, just in case we forgot what movie we were watching. Needless to say, they come upon some aliens (much like the ones from STARSHIP TROOPERS) which gives us an in your face showcase of the films' special effects which weren't bad, but nothing new either. One of the best and more unusual effects was of Will using virtual technology to take over the robots systems and fight off the aliens.

In the end the family is rescued by one of young Will's inventions (too long, convoluted and stupid to go into) and sent to Jupitor 2 – their original destination. Now I would have been happy to see them safe and sound if I cared one whit for any of them. When are filmmakers going to figure out that you need a script as good as your special effects to make a good movie. They also need to understand the word "editing" because no sci-fi film should be over 2 hours long, especially this one. The effects in LOST IN SPACE should carry over pretty well to video so I suggest you wait if you just have to see this film. You won't miss anything.

"If there's no time for fun, Doc, then what are we saving the planet for?"

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