I really want to be able to explain to you why movie makers of the year 1998 (and indeed, much of the American public) saw fit to support a film version of the Lost in Space TV series starring Matt LeBlanc and Heather Graham—but, folks, that would mean that I myself understood, and how can a mere mortal mind such as my own possibly understand how such a thing came to be? The new Netflix series of the same name has taught us that it is indeed possible to give the world a good and decent reboot of the series—but this, my friends, is not that. Oh my, is it not at all that.
If you need a rundown on the premise, Lost in Space was the Swiss Family Robinson, but in space. If you need a rundown on the Swiss Family Robinson, it's The Waltons, but on an island. If you need a rundown on The Waltons, it's The Partridge Family, but without songs or cool outfits.
Yep, that's it! A one-sentence premise and $68,000,000 later, this movie was born. Twenty years after that, this Deja View was born too. Without further ado...
1. Outer space looks like a screensaver.
2. The opening narration basically says pollution destroyed the planet, so this blindingly white family is sailing off into space to literally colonize other planets. Which is like, oh my God, you know what, you would.
3. Earth is under threat from “terrorist forces,” which opens the gate for a flood of incredibly vague terms for the remainder of this film.
4. This movie resembles Starfox for SNES, kind of.
5. MATT LEBLANC?! He is the worst in this. This pilot guy friend of Matt LeBlanc throws out the line, “This Cold War just got hot!” Folks, we aren't even 10 minutes in, and I'm already in absolute awe. Just when I thought things couldn't get any better, there's an explosion and a guy yelling, “YEEHAW!”
6. They keep talking about something called THE HYPERGATE, and that is hilarious. A 5-year-old wrote this script. A grown adult walked into their kid's bedroom with a notebook and just ruthlessly stole ideas from that child. I can see that now.
7. I roll my eyes every time the camera pans to Matt LeBlanc, and I am concerned. Do I have an eye condition, for which I must see an optometrist? Or is it because he is so sexist and awful that my eyes roll?
8. Mr. Doctor Dad is played by William Hurt and Mrs. Doctor Mom is played by Mimi Rogers. Captain Dad shows up delivering a boring lecture about SCIENCE, which is his job, even though a basic elementary understanding of science totally throws this whole plot out the window.
8. More screensavers. What if outer space is really just a screensaver?
9. Lacey Chabert is the maddest teen girl, and shows up to be like, “Dad's taking us into space, so I have to say goodbye — TO MY ENTIRE LIFE!” Teen girls are dramatic, get it? It's, like, funny. Because they're so dramatic. But as is the case often with teen girls, she's totally right, because her dad should absolutely not be taking children into deep space. So, wait, what's the moral of this movie?
10. I would be remiss to continue on without taking a moment to comment on Lacey Chabert's coat in this scene, which makes me think she fought a giant, dog-sized opossum to the death and donned its fur in some kind of ritualistic coming-of-age ceremony. Also, she always looks like someone dipped her in a vat of oil. She's drenched through this entire movie. It's... questionable.
11. Gary Oldman shows up and you know right away that he's evil because he wears black. And his character's last name is Smith, which is classically an evil last name. And... because he's Gary Oldman.
12. Gary Oldman loves to yell in movies that were made in the late '90s. Every time he shows up, he's yelling about this or that, and I'm here to tell you: this movie is no different. He yells and he yells.
13. WHERE DID HE FIND A MINI DISC PLAYER IN 2058?!
14. They're on this ship preparing to go into deep space with the smallest crew ever, and they hired Matt LaBlanc to pilot the ship, but in truth they hired him to ceaselessly sexually harass Dr. Heather Graham, the eldest daughter of the Robinsons. She turns down his abnormally aggressive flirting and then he says, “That's one cold fish I'd like to thaw,” IN FRONT OF HER DAD. There is only wrong in this scene. There is no right.
15. Gary Oldman gets electrocuted by his friends or cohorts or whatever, even though there's still really no clear reason as to why they're doing any of this and he lives through the experience to continue on as “evil guy” for the duration.
16. You can always tell a project is completely effed when there are exaggerated breast holders in the chestplates on the female characters. Do you understand that this is not how armor works? That there is no need for perfectly indented boob cups in armor? That you are committing not only crimes against fashion, but egregious tactical errors?
17. A question: why do the interiors of all space stations and spaceships look exactly the same? You're going to spend a huge portion of your life in this weird metal box in space, and no one ever puts up curtains? I'm just saying.
18. Gary Oldman accidentally unleashes the “Danger Will Robinson” robot, who is at the time programmed to “zZZzz Kill Family Robinson zZzZz! DESTROY!” You know what? I like this robot. Best character in the film so far. The robot trashes the space station, and then Will dives into a hole in the floor. For a second, I thought to myself: "Wouldn't it be messed up if that kid just died right there?" But he didn't, they deactivate the robot, blah blah.
19. Judy Robinson aka Doctor Heather Graham has to be saved because she is blonde and in a movie, and because Matt LeBlanc needs something to do with his time. Smith is the only one that can save her though, so, after LeBlanc aims a gun at his head and Smith negotiates the classic “I save her, you let me live!” deal, he goes on to explain the deal again to a completely unconscious Judy just to remind us that he has no redeeming qualities and wants her to live purely so he doesn't get killed. We get it. You're super evil. So, he saves Judy, who lives and goes on to not actually do anything in this film.
20. But suddenly they're all like, oh my god we're right by the suuuuuunnnnnn! There's some yelling and some science, then they go into warp drive or hyper speed or whatever we're calling it, and suddenly they're... wait for ittttttt... LOST IN SPACE! 40 minutes into the film. The title is the premise and vice versa, so it's pretty bonkers just how long this took to actually happen.
21. There's a fun bad CGI moment here where everyone is suspended in slow motion a la The Matrix or any number of terrible films from around this time period. It looks like The Sims but IN SPAAACE.
22. Mrs. Robinson is a totally useless character, and I am pissed. She gets shoved to the side by Smith, and her favorite thing to say to her family is, “I need you here!” any time any of them decide to go do anything other than be here. At one point the robot almost kills her and her child, and she literally just crouches on the ground. "Look away, baby!" Uh, there are guns everywhere, and the least you could do is punch a robot in the face if it's trying to kill Lacey Chabert right in front of you. At this point, her 9-year-old son basically saves the day. What the hell.
23. William Hurt is not always great at acting.
24. In this movie, Matt LeBlanc and Heather Graham are not great at it, either.
25. Lacey Chabert, who is 15, is all, “Never love anything, kiddo. You'll just end up losing it,” to Will Robinson, who is 9.
26. Matt LeBlanc just winked at Lacey Chabert and I do believe this movie has officially gone too far.
27. “I'll wait later,” is the 32nd line in this film that has made me die inside.
28. What's really hilarious is that this movie is all about how Doctor Professor Father Robinson is a negligent dad to Will, his son, but he has not said a single word to either of his daughters this entire time. He gives his father's dog tags to Will, his very small son, rather than his daughter Judy, who is of age, a prodigy, and absolutely following in her father's footsteps. He has spoken to Judy once. He literally doesn't say anything to Penny through this entire film.
29. “No time for being a dad, son! Science must be done!” - Dr. Robinson, more or less
30. They end up running into an Earth ship, possibly in the future but definitely parked near some weird planet. Don't worry about that for now. They hop aboard because that is the worst idea possible. Heather Graham is narrating everything aloud for her records, so she just walks around stating the obvious. She takes off her mask and goes, “The air is stagnant,” and Gary Oldman says, “That's the smell of ghosts.” That's the smell of ghosts! A real line in a real movie that cost 68 million dollars to make and grossed around $140 mil. THAT'S THE SMELL OF GHOSTS.
31. You know, this movie appears to be quite longer than I initially thought.
32. Gary Oldman starts playing around with these egg sacs on the abandoned ship. Um, do you want CGI spider aliens? Because that is how you get CGI spider aliens. In fact, it's kind of unclear why they keep Smith around, other than because Matt LeBlanc's character needs someone to point a gun at least once per scene. You should probably just leave him on some planet somewhere.
33. Oh dear god, I entirely forgot about the weird CGI pink nightmare creature mascot thing named Blarp with its demon eyes and suction cup fingers or whatever. Good, I was afraid I was going to sleep tonight, but no chance of that after staring into the eyes of Blarp. Blarp is Penny's new pet because the Robinson family is OUT OF THEIR DAMN MINDS. Also, if you're keeping track of how whack this film is to the female characters, I want to point out really quick that the little boy gets a murder robot and the little girl gets a space monkey or whatever the hell Blarp actually is. Which brings me to my next subject, WHAT THE HELL IS BLARP.
34. These weird CGI spider aliens start eating through doors and floors and whatnot with their weird... acid... faces, and it turns out they also eat their young. Okay, humans, you do not get to be all high and mighty about what creatures eat their young, because I have heard stories.
35. Smith makes a Wizard of Oz reference and it's all over, folks, we've officially got an evil gay on our hands. Thanks again, Hollywood. Your consistent villainization of the only gay characters that ever appear in action films is nothing short of delightful. (By which I mean I hate it.)
36. “I don't like the sound of that sound!” - DOCTOR Judy Robinson
37. Wow, this is one film that really earned its 27% Rotten Tomatoes score.
38. Will Robinson gets to be an action hero, but his sisters don't get to do anything except be sexually harassed by Matt LeBlanc, who continues to a) not do his job, b) not listen to anyone, c) not show any level of caution or concern for the lives of others, and d) repeatedly almost kill the whole crew. I would leave him on a deserted planet with Smith.
39. They crash land for no reason on some planet because... why the hell not, quite frankly. This ship is being steered by Launchpad from DuckTales.
40. There are more scenes with that darned Blarp, so that sucks. The level of trust this family puts in this alien, about which they know absolutely nothing, is weird. I keep expecting the movie to be like, “... and that's when Blarps feed,” and then Penny gets eaten, but it takes everyone like two or three weeks to realize that she's missing because that is how much concern these people have for their children.
41. Dr. Robinson and Matt LeBlanc keep yelling at each other, mostly because they're both idiots. Mimi Rogers comes in to break it up and make a testosterone crack, basically yelling “Women's Lib!” on the way out. As the Mom, it is her job to teach the men to be humans. She and her husband totally bone, because they are incredibly chill about themselves and their children being almost killed a lot.
42. “Family is important, which is why I never look at or talk to any of you,” is Dr. Robinson's thing. He's a total Reed Richards.
43. While watching this film with a friend, this interaction occurred:
Friend: I do actually think Gary Oldman is a really good method actor.
Me: He has a history of accepting terrible roles and therefore cannot be trusted.
Friend: I can't believe all of these supposedly top actors would accept this script.
We both start pointing at the screen and yelling “You! And you! YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR YOUR CRAFT!”
44. Matt LeBlanc begins describing things sailors did to find their way home in the olden days, and Heather Graham is all, “Hey, listen, I'm a doctor, could you stop talking to me like I'm 12?” Just kidding, she actually compliments him on crashing the ship and stranding her and her entire family on an alien planet. Then he tries again to have sex with her and she pours water on his head. Folks, I cannot.
45. Matt LeBlanc and William Hurt go missioning, and they discover, get this, OLD WILL ROBINSON, if he were 35. Guess what. He is exactly the weirdo dad-obsessed my-father-never-hugged-me MRA Twitter troll we all knew he was going to grow up into. Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be Will Robinson. Apparently, everyone else is dead in the future, so he's like, “I can still hear the women scream.” Um, the women? You mean, your mother and two sisters? Who have names? JFC, Will.
46. Smith takes baby Will Robinson's gun away. In case you were wondering whether or not he's still evil? He is, he's totally still evil.
47. None of the female characters are present for any major plot points in this entire movie. While all this is going on, they're seriously chilling at home and shooting off flares.
48. The best part is that the robot is reprogrammed to be re-evil, and Will basically says, “Robot? Do you remember what I taught you? About friendship?” and the robot basically replies, “FRIENDSHIP DOES NOT COMPUTE!” Folks, I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love this robot.
49. Older Smith is a weird CGI Spider Baby Monster Thing, and he betrays Will, again. It happens three or four times in the last half hour of the film alone. Smith's babies or whatever start eating him, or he eats himself, or something happens where something is eating something. Either way his cloak falls off and we find out that this whole time he was a Lawnmower Man head on a walking stick body. He falls into, uh, time, or...? I mean, whatever, it doesn't matter. He's dead, I guess.
50. Matt LeBlanc says he's going to tattoo Judy's name to his chest, but oh my god, you have not even kissed yet. (Then I started thinking about how would I look with a chest tat that just said “Heather Graham.")
51. This movie is really about dudes bonding while putting all of the women's lives in danger. The father reconnects with his future son and then his regular son, but at one point all the ladies die in an explosion with Matt LeBlanc, which I would like to officially place on my “Least Preferred Way To Die” list, right before “eaten by school of barracuda” and after “eaten by school of orca.”
52. Oh, right, so Heather Graham makes out with Matt LeBlanc finally. Because he is, quite literally, her only option. Romantic, no?
53. It's really awkward when a movie sets up the end for a sequel which nobody wanted to happen, so it never happened.
54. The end credits look like a Crystal Method video.