Lost in Space (1998)

Rating: C-

Dir: Stephen Hopkins
Star: William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Gary Oldman, Heather Graham

Not much left of the original TV series, but that may be no bad thing: gone are the wobbly sets, replaced by highly impressive production values. The budget here is certainly up on the screen. However, the characters are largely the square-jawed heroes of the show (the kids are the only ones really updated), and the attitude is more retro than futuristic: the men go do things, the women sit at home and manipulate switches. Oldman, sporting his Fifth Element facial fuzz in a mutated form, hams it up as Dr.Smith, while Hurt and Rogers play it dead straight – with the emphasis unfortunately on “dead”. At 130 mins, it does overstay its welcome, and the time-travel shenanigans might not bear close inspection. Still, it deserves some credit for a brave attempt to replace the kitsch of the original with something only slightly naff.