Lost in Space (1998)

dir. Stephen Hopkins

In some ways, Lost in Space was doomed to fail. The ’60s TV show it was based on was kitschy and overblown, so the attempt to make a serious sci-fi epic perhaps utilised the wrong source material. Casting Matt LeBlanc as a fighter pilot was possibly the final nail in the coffin. He accompanies the Robinson family on their perilous space adventures, and is extremely hard to take seriously – probably because in 1998, Joey Tribbiani mode was still LeBlanc’s only mode. But perhaps he’d have a better chance if the villain, played with almost too much gusto by Gary Oldman, wasn’t such a joke. Dr Smith prances about and practically winks at the camera while he does all but tell everyone about how evil he is. Then he turns into a massive spider. Lost in Space is not the home of nuance.

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