LOST IN SPACE


1998

DIRECTOR: Steven Hopkins

Let’s face it. Irwin Allen’s 3 seasons of Lost In Space are hardly Science Fiction TV at its best but it was entertaining at the time I suppose. So was it a good idea to make a blockbuster feature based upon it? Probably not. But to be fair, Lost In Space, the film that it, isn’t that bad. It adopts the original series’ opening two episodes into a high-octane actioner, with state of the art special effects, a high-profile cast including William Hurt, Mini Rodgers and a young Heather Graham, not to mention the films’ coup, the ever pitch perfect Gary Oldman doing a  brilliant interpretation of Johnathan Harris’ Doctor Smith.

And then there was Joey, sorry, Matt La Blanc … playing Joey

The film tries to add a darker edge, particularly regarding Smith, who is without a doubt, evil in this version and his life is certainly in danger from the Robinson family who feel, quite rightly, betrayed by him. The effects try to be ground breaking and spectacular but generally look animated and failed to live up to their promise. But the story is ambitious, fast paced and exiting but childish and hampered by its pacing at times. It moves from one event to next with little pause for thought.

Overall, it’s a shame as the potential is apparent but with the exception of Oldman, the cast unsuccessfully hams it up and the direction is bombastic to the extreme. The mentality of this film seems to be as loud and as brash as possible without any real justification, but it is colourful and pacey so as a kids film it may well work, but as an around blockbuster and adaptation it fails to live up to its potential.

Disappointing though this was back in 1998, I still watch this every now again so it must have some staying power when all is said done. Fun but flawed…

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