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Lost in Space

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Lost in Space

Starring: William Hurt, Gary Oldman
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 130 Minutes
Release Date: April 1998
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Heather Graham, Mimi Rogers, Matt LeBlanc, Lacey Chabert, Jack Johnson

Review by Mark OHara
No Rating Supplied

Ever since my wife bought me a toy "B-9" Robot for our anniversary, I had wanted to see the newest incarnation of "Lost in Space."

Aside from the characters, it's not much like the campy 60's series. (Of course, I didn't exactly recognize the campiness at the time; I was too busy hiding my eyes during the alien scenes. "Lost in Space" was the only TV show scarier than the monster scenes in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"!)

Following the premise of the series occupied much of the running time. But it's a good premise: the Robinson family's animation is suspended while the Jupiter 2 cruises to a planet ten years away. Their journey is interrupted by a 90's version of B-9 -- only slicker, butch; but the booming voice is the same. Anyway, the adventures the family encounters after they are lost are worth watching: mostly smooth computer-generated critters, and a version of the vile Doctor Smith that made me and my 12 year-old son shiver. (No, I'm still not de-sensitized to the horror that monsters are supposed to instill!)

Though I like William Hurt immensely (no one could have played the reluctant travel writer in "The Accidental Tourist" better), he is miscast as John Robinson. OK -- the head of the family is a heady scientist, but Hurt I can't see as action hero. The rest of the cast is solid -- the ubiquitous Gary Oldman (is he British, or what?) is eminently dislikable -- though not nearly as goofy as his television counterpart.

Get ready for another franchise. "Lost in Space" is entertaining. I'd pay to see a sequel, especially with the chance it might have just a shade more camp and self-reflexive humor.

Copyright 2000 Mark OHara

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