William Hurt, Gary Oldman, Mimi Rogers, Matt LeBlanc, Heather Graham, Lacey Chabet, Jack
Johnson, Jared Harris
1998, 122 Minutes, Directed by: Stephen Hopkins
Packed with more than 750 dazzling visual effects, this $70 million adventure
gives the 1965-68 TV series a state-of-the-art face-lift. —
Think The Fifth Element but sans Chris
Tucker and you will have a reasonably good idea of how Lost In Space is.
thats right: its another style over content movie. Its all high-tech
production designs and impressive special effects - unlike, Im told, the campy cheap
1960s television series of the same name that supposedly inspired it (I never saw any of
the old TV episodes). But while Lost In Space is gorgeous to look at, it is
vacuous beneath its surface.
This should come as no
surprise since the movies screenplay is written by Akiva Goldsman who also wrote the
terrible Batman & Robin screenplay. Fortunately this film is
relatively camp- and cheesy one liner-free, so parents need not endure as much as they did
like when they took the little uns to see to see that particular piece of
But make no mistake, while there are some one-liners designed for the
few adults in the audience, Lost In Space remains a movie mostly aimed at little
children and except for some scary scenes involving spider-like monsters, it is a movie to
which parents can take their kids with a clean conscience.
"Audiences will have a
difficult time understanding what the heck is
exactly going on!"
What parents must endure however is
a screenplay that starts off promisingly enough with some impressive space battles and an
introduction to the plots basic premise.
In the distant future earth is unable of
sustaining human life anymore and thus plans are set up to construct a portal between
earth and a planet earmarked for colonization. A scientist (played by William Hurt) and
his family are sent off into outer space to help with this task. Unbeknownst to them there
is a saboteur aboard (Gary Oldman in yet another bad guy roll - yet less over-the-top this
time around). Soon their mission is interrupted and they are, well, lost in space . . .
It is about here that the
plot starts falling apart and audiences will probably have a difficult time
understanding - or caring about for that matter - what exactly is going on. In the end the
plot also falls apart under its own logic as more and plot holes become achingly obvious
and some insipid nonsense about family values that would have seemed more
appropriate in a sitcom instead is thrown in.
Not to mention an unbearably
cute space monkey! Sure, at this same time director Hopkins (The Ghost and the
Darkness) also increases the frenetic action sequences to generate some audience interest
in the onscreen proceedings, but I found my attention wavering.
However, in the
end the movies target audience should be taken into consideration.
No doubt kids will be endlessly entertained by the movies impressive
hardware. Also, if youre looking for some two hours or sos
undemanding time spent in a darkened cinema while scoffing popcorn and
gulping down a large Coke then Lost In Space just might be the
ticket . . .