Lost in Space (1998)

Genres - Adventure, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action, Space Adventure  |   Release Date - Apr 3, 1998 (USA)  |   Run Time - 131 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Adam Goldberg

The Robinson family is lost again, and Dr. Smith, Major West, and that devoted Robot are embarking on an all-new space odyssey. New Line Cinema's big-screen Lost in Space update is nothing more than an empty big-budget dud that may quickly put audiences into "cryosleep." Filled to the brim with murky visuals and canned characters, this retro-remake seems more two-dimensional than the original, schlocky '60s TV show. Director Stephen Hopkins engulfs his cast in special effects, but viewers also need a helping of lucid story to accompany the film's tasty CGI. The pointless and prolonged action segment featuring an army of mechanical spiders proves to be somewhat suspenseful, but the narrative is sucked into a black hole once the Robinsons crash-land on the deteriorating planet. Both the director and writer must not realize that it's physically impossible for our heroes to be "lost in space" when they are stranded on a drab and desolate planet. Perhaps the movie would have been easier on the eyes if cinematographer Peter Levy photographed his subjects in bright colors, instead of a dingy pallet of muted tones. The A-list cast, which includes Gary Oldman, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, and William Hurt, is shackled to flat dialogue and given little opportunity to exhibit their talents. What originally seems like a promising space adventure based on a beloved TV show ultimately becomes a tired affair of flashy special effects without any rocket fuel to back it up.