Lost In Space

Robots, space bugs, gee-whiz gadgetry and an anime-inspired monkey named Blawp: These are a few of the reasons kids will want to see this glossy reimagining of a TV show that was off the air before they were born. It's 2058 and the Earth is two decades from total ecological meltdown. The Robinson family -- professors John and Maureen (William Hurt and Mimi...read more

Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

Robots, space bugs, gee-whiz gadgetry and an anime-inspired monkey named Blawp: These are a few of the reasons kids will want to see this glossy reimagining of a TV show that was off the air before they were born. It's 2058 and the Earth is

two decades from total ecological meltdown. The Robinson family -- professors John and Maureen (William Hurt and Mimi Rogers), youthful biologist Judy (Heather Graham), pint-sized computer whiz Will (Jack Johnson) and bratty adolescent Penny (Lacey Chabert) -- are headed for Alpha Prime, the

habitable but distant planet whose colonization is humanity's last best hope. But their ship has been sabotaged by the villainous Dr. Smith (Gary Oldman) and everyone winds up lost in the biomechanical spider-infested back forty of the universe. Complicating matters are some highly fraught

interfamilial dynamics: Imagine an interstellar road trip with your family, a bossy, testosterone-driven flyboy (Matt LeBlanc), a trouble-making hitchhiker and no fast-food diversions. Though the bulk of the show's camp humor has been jettisoned, Oldman's prissy, venemous Dr. Smith is the true

son of Jonathan Harris, who's conspicuous by his absence from the obligatory cameo appearances. Original cast members Angela Cartwright, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen and June Lockhart show up; original Will Robinson Bill Mumy doesn't; and Dick Tufeld returns to supply the robot's familiar voice.

The movie's father-son dynamics smack of too much therapy and some of the effects have an insubstantial computer-generated look (others, like the bulbous plant life on the planet where the Robinsons crash-land, scream vintage Star Trek), but the whole thing is fun for 11-year-olds of all

ages. The familial Sturm und Drang will most likely send youngsters scrambling for the concession counter, but that's hardly a liability: It'll make theater owners happy, and the kids won't miss anything that doesn't get said again later.

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