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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.12%
Worth A Look: 10.2%
Average: 13.27%
Pretty Bad: 32.65%
Total Crap37.76%

5 reviews, 68 user ratings

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Lost in Space
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Movies don't get much emptier."
1 stars

Having never seen the old TV series 'Lost in Space,' I had no preconceptions of how the new movie version "should have been done" and am free to judge it independently on its merits as a movie. Having now seen the film, I have many ideas about how it should have been done. How about ... intelligently?

Perhaps with some wit and originality? A little less dependence on CGI effects and a little more attention to the script? A single moment that doesn't seem pitched to slow ten-year-olds? Movies like Lost in Space are routinely defended as "just fun," but when did "fun" become synonymous with "bland" and "shallow"?

We're in 2038, when the Earth is in trouble: In another twenty years, the planet won't be able to support human life. So the plan is to ship everyone to another human-friendly planet, Alpha Prime (and presumably ruin that planet too). Professor John Robinson (William Hurt) will lead the way, taking his family with him. The premise of both the show and the movie is that the Robinsons' ship gets knocked off course, leading to many episodes of well-loved TV adventures.

The problem with the movie -- well, one among many -- is that it adopts the episodic structure of a Lost in Space marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel. The characters -- also including the macho pilot Don West (Matt LeBlanc) and the evil stowaway Dr. Zachary Smith (Gary Oldman) -- go from one damn crisis to another, and the episodes don't build on each other; we don't feel that the heroes are in a situation beyond their control, but rather that the filmmakers are running to catch up with a big movie beyond their control. The film is like an unguided missile.

Lost in Space was directed by Stephen Hopkins, a solid action craftsman (he made The Ghost and the Darkness and the underrated Judgment Night). Hopkins keeps things moving, and a couple of the space-chase sequences have an adrenalized lift to them. But the movie keeps crashing into clichés -- those being the specialty of screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, who worked on the last two terrible Batman entries. Seasoned moviegoers will find much here to roll their eyes at, whether it's the tired device of the absentee dad (Professor Robinson is always missing out on his son's milestones) or the introduction of an allegedly cute critter named Blarp, who makes the movie seem even more like a two-hour toy commercial.

The casting splits you down the middle -- you don't know whether to be grateful that you at least have good actors to watch, or to regret that they're given nothing to do. The idea of Gary Oldman as Dr. Smith promises more diabolical fun than you get; this is one of his very rare dull performances, weighed down by a script that doesn't let him take off. The Robinson children are non-entities: Judy (Heather Graham) is defined almost entirely by her Princess Leia-Han Solo hostile banter with Don West, Will (Jack Johnson) is a little techno-geek, and Penny (Lacy Chabert of Party of Five) is like Sarah Michelle Gellar's less talented kid sister. Mimi Rogers, who has been impressive elsewhere (The Rapture), is yet another wife telling her man to be careful; she could start by telling him to wake up -- Hurt sleepwalks toward the paycheck being dangled in front of him, as he did in Dark City.

The climax is some nonsense involving a "time bubble," which is really a code name for a gimmick useful to desperate screenwriters. Lost in Space is so full of time bubbles it's practically effervescent, and the ending is left so arrogantly unresolved that I sat stunned for a moment until I realized -- Of course! They're leaving it open for a sequel!

'Lost in Space' is so witless that it never answers the major question raised by both the TV show and the movie: When the Robinsons find Dr. Smith aboard the ship, why don't they just shoot him in the head and get it over with? "Because then there wouldn't be a movie," you may say. Well, so what?

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originally posted: 01/27/07 15:39:52
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User Comments

9/02/21 Laura Min Actually I liked it a lot after 20 yrs. Graphics held up well, Leblanc looks good, the 90s 5 stars
5/08/20 morris campbell fun but nothing special 3 stars
8/11/11 larsen It's Lost in "SPACE", not TIME! Indeed! Bubble-headed boobies! Oh, the pain. The pain. 1 stars
2/21/11 art only saving grace,was LACEY CHABERT'S CUTE performance as neglected middle child PENNY. 3 stars
1/08/10 George A real stinker. 1 stars
12/04/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 1 stars
10/25/07 Billie Bob Enjoyable, Fun. The Critics will always find something to criticize 4 stars
7/05/07 Chariot57 Movie is complete crap talk about role reversal Rogers is a bitch and Hurt is a Whimp 1 stars
4/26/07 Abs Total rubbish waste of time... 1 stars
2/19/07 Nick Maday I think the only reason I like this is because I saw it when I was a kid. 4 stars
6/15/06 drydock54321 I hate it when they retell the origin when they make a big screen version of a series 3 stars
8/18/05 ES man has the ability to travel to other stars, yet they only travel through time?= Star Trek 2 stars
6/18/05 Thomas Semesky Makes the TV version seem like Shakespeare in comparison!! 2 stars
4/18/05 Jeff Anderson Okay, so it wasn't as good as the series, but so what. I enjoyed it, so lighten up people. 4 stars
3/27/05 Pierre Script is unimpressive, but Gary Oldman can redeem a lot. There is better and worse here 3 stars
12/16/04 BRET Well lets burn the master negative this was B.A.D. 1 stars
8/02/04 Raf Milis I like this movie..although the ending is crap and Hurt is playing like a turtle on crack.. 4 stars
5/25/04 Sageev Some stupid dialog, but very good sci-fi & true to the original 4 stars
5/09/04 DM I'll just sit at home and watch the TV show - it was SUPPOSED to be funny 1 stars
4/19/04 Elizabeth After all these years it's still one of my favourite movies. 5 stars
3/22/04 Roger C'mon guys! A little childish sometimes but all in all not that bad. 4 stars
9/26/03 Anthony I did walk out on this the first time around. On dvd the special features justify watching 4 stars
9/22/03 kill quacky this movie sucked ass it fucked the tv show up,sucks is taking it lightly. 1 stars
9/14/03 r Damned yellow alien. It's the devil of marketing, I tell you. 2 stars
8/04/03 punjab total pish-le blanc is an arsehole 1 stars
4/19/03 Ubu the Ripper If not for Oldman this movie would suck. Hurt seems like he's on prozac the entire film. 2 stars
12/02/02 Mike Awful AND boring. And that girl's voice! Kill me! 1 stars
11/23/02 Charles Tatum I unabashedly loved this thing! 5 stars
6/22/02 qtpie good 4 stars
4/03/02 Butterbean This is as bad as people say. Not even Oldman can help this one. 2 stars
1/06/02 Andrew Carden Rip-Offs The Original In A Bad Waste Of Uncreative Specialties. 1 stars
9/09/01 Neil Pickup This is possibly the Worst film I have ever seen. Can I give no stars? 1 stars
9/01/01 Connoisseur I'm giving it five stars because of the effects and neat story 5 stars
8/06/01 badfish Great special effects,If it wasnt for that lame Blarp,Id have given it 5 stars 4 stars
6/05/01 Roy Smith Oldman's cool, Chabert is sexy (yes!) but the movie blows dead bears. 2 stars
5/05/01 Gracy Lionheart Boring...The movie was annoying. (I normally like Sci-Fi, but this blew) 1 stars
2/03/01 viking Warning ! Warning ! Another Classic TV series is ruthlessly exploited !!!! 2 stars
1/22/01 Ro Worth it for mean and moody Gary Oldman. Otherwise, 100% Fuckshit. 1 stars
12/06/00 Cristopher Revilla David, are you an asshole, or don't know how to watch movies? 'cuz this movie's total shit 1 stars
11/29/00 The Evil Penguin wow, David Rogers. You ARE all of the above 1 stars
8/03/00 Lacie Wright The ending sucked dead bears, who can understand it? Yeesh! But, overall I loved this movie 4 stars
5/04/00 Hi there Gosh, David Rogers, tell us how you really feel. 1 stars
4/17/00 BB-15 David Rogers is either a liar, a fag, or a mental patient. Probably all of the above. 1 stars
4/04/00 Girl9 Worst couldn't even pay me to watch this piece of shite again... 1 stars
2/08/00 Richard Wright Based-on-TV films reach a new height of crapness. Complete shit in every way. 1 stars
1/04/00 Truth Man If this movie was a dog it would have been euthanised and put out of it's misery. 1 stars
12/23/99 bullit17 And you thought Sci-fi crap couldn't get any worse than Fifth Element 1 stars
12/04/99 PervertedPixie Well someone had to stick up for this film. Dr. Smith rules! Long live whaked-out sfi!! 5 stars
11/04/99 Mickey "Father Death" MacJohnstmyster Better than the t.v show , not great , watchable if you like the actors etc , otherwise NOT 3 stars
10/05/99 strike One of the most dumb excuses i have ever seen 1 stars
8/20/99 Japtalian They should have named this "How to fuck up a classic T.V. show without really trying." 1 stars
8/18/99 Matthew Bartley Shit and boring 2 stars
6/25/99 Ah Dooey What the hell were you expecting, Star Trek?! Leave the classics alone! 2 stars
6/15/99 Dylan This is the biggest pile of junk ive ever laid my eyes upon. Even Oldman is unconvincing. 1 stars
3/14/99 Viral Messiah No! 2 stars
2/16/99 Uncle Roy This job cost me my job at Long John Silvers 1 stars
2/09/99 Gary Should have stopped watching half way through & pretended better would show next week. 2 stars
2/07/99 Don Wilson No comment 1 stars
1/05/99 anon my eyes kept rolling up in my head with this recockulous plot 3 stars
1/03/99 Dasha OK, it was crap, but it kept me entertained, so... 3 stars
11/24/98 Ray Russ Perfect example of why child acting should be outlawed. The "1" on my 1-10 scale. 1 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob Gee, and the series was so, so...I dunno...crappy? 2 stars
9/29/98 katherine oh my snored through the whole thing 2 stars
9/28/98 Heather Didn't think I'd like this one. I was wrong! 5 stars
9/15/98 Negative Creep OLDMAN as a HUGE FUcking BUG. This was just some fucked up repugnant shit. 1 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Shit. What was Oldman thinking? He's usually above this crap. 1 stars
8/23/98 Mister Whoopee matt leBlanc is almost as irritating as Lacey Chabert. 1 stars
8/14/98 {{{OZ}}} It helped me sleep on a long plane flight, but I saw the ending. Eww. 2 stars
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  03-Apr-1998 (PG-13)
  DVD: 07-May-2002



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