Lost in Space (1998)

lost in space poster 1998 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 5/10

Decent cast

Cast is wasted, dated visuals, dull story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Lost in Space

Studio: New Line Cinema

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): April 3, 1998

MPAA Rating: PG-13

lost in space jupiter 2 spaceship

To boldly go…no where new or interesting

Earth is dying, and the Robinsons have taken up the mission to save it by testing an experimental transport to cross space to establish a new Earth.  When the plan is sabotaged by Dr. Zachary Smith (Gary Oldman), Professor John Robinson (William Hurt), Professor Maureen Robinson (Mimi Rogers), Dr. Judy Robinson (Heather Graham), Penny Robinson (Lacey Chabert), Will Robinson (Jack Johnson) and pilot Don West (Matt LeBlanc) are shuttled into an uncharted time and location.  The Robinson are on their adventure of the lifetime and their only hope is to get home!

Directed by Stephen Hopkins, Lost in Space is an action adventure sci-fi fantasy film.  The movie adapts the cult science fiction series which ran from 1965 to 1968 on CBS.  The film performed so-so at the box office but was met with negative reviews.  It was the film that dethroned Titanic from its record breaking box-office run.

lost in space don west matt leblanc monkey

Yeah…I think I might have made a mistake

I didn’t really watch the reruns of Lost in Space simply because Lost in Space didn’t get much replay until much later when I had access to cable.  I knew the basic story and characters when I saw the film, but I went into it with little nostalgia or reverence.  When the movie bombed, it cemented my lack of interest.  I saw the movie when it was new to tape, but didn’t enjoy it much…rewatching it, I see why.

The movie is generic sci-fi and action.  The story is rather typical and the time travel aspect of the story doesn’t seem to gel well with the plot since the movie doesn’t attempt to set-up parallel worlds or alternate timelines.  The time travel just becomes a crutch for ways to move the story forward.  The movie obviously hoped for a series since it finishes on a cliffhanger, but no sequels developed.

The cast is poorly used.  Almost everyone in the movie has done better.  William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, and Matt LeBlanc are given horrible dialogue to try to deliver and do an ok job despite it.  Lacey Chabert (who I always found annoying in Party of Five) is equally annoying here (but she does give an early personal blog that feels very much like current YouTube blogs), and Jack Johnson is ok as Will Robinson.  Gary Oldman is unable to save the movie as the villainous Dr. Smith, and Jared Harris appears as an older Will Robinson.  The original cast members June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, and Angela Cartwright appeared in the film, and Dick Tufeld reprised his role as Robot.

lost in space dr smith robot gary oldman

The Retro-Robot and Gary Oldman can’t save this movie

Time has not been kind to Lost in Space.  The special effects of the film are ok for the space scenes, but the computer generated images for some of the scenes (especially the monkey creature) are pretty poor.  With struggles with the movie’s plot, this failure in special effects creates more roadblocks for the movie which it can’t overcome.

Lost in Space is overly long, and it also isn’t very interesting.  The film could have had attempted to reach “hi-concept” sci-fi, but instead, it seems to try to appeal to a lot of the audience…and fails to really claim any of the audience.  The cast was signed for three sequels, but with the film’s failure, the Robinsons remain lost in space.  Netflix relaunch the franchise in 2018 with a new Lost in Space series.

Related Links:

Lost in Space—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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