Lost in Space (1998) is a science fiction film adaptation of the 1965-68 television series of the same name. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins and stars William Hurt and Gary Oldman.In the not-too-distant future, Earth will soon be rendered uninhabitable due to extensive, irreversible harm from pollution. The United Global Space Force plans to colonize a distant planet so that Earth's population can relocate. Unbeknownst to them, a terrorist organization called the Global Sedition plans to disrupt the USGF's plans in order to take over the same planet themselves.Because, ummm... they're evil. Or something.Professor John Robinson, the head scientist of the Jupiter mission, plans to take his family on a ten-year space mission in suspended animation to the nearby planet Alpha Prime to build a companion hypergate to the one near Earth. Shortly after launch, however, their voyage is sabotaged, forcing them to take desperate measures to avoid certain death. One random hyperjump later, The Robinsons and their unwilling stowaway Dr. Smith are the sort of lost that only comes when you have an entire galaxy to get lost in.
This Film contains examples of:
Arbitrary Skepticism: John Robinson frequently dismisses Will's ideas on time travel, despite having built a hyperdrive engine that works by folding two points of space-time together. Because extending the application of such a device to allow travel along the fourth dimension is any less plausible?
Catch Phrase: The films works in all the catch phrases from the series.
Comically Missing the Point: In the film, John Robinson informs us that the Earth has ended all war and conflict... then immediately afterwards, comments on the Global Sedition who like to perform terrorist attacks on their installations. Err, run that by us again, Doc?
Conflict Ball: John to Will when being merely neglectful somehow wasn't enough to make him a bad father.
Conspicuous CG: Blaarp, the comic relief alien monkey in the movie. While most of the effects hold up fairly well, the CG for Blaarp was terrible even for the time.
Do a Barrel Roll: The Jupiter 2's original attempt to escape the planet failed due to insufficient power resulting in the destruction of the ship and deaths of everyone aboard. The second time they attempt the escape, Major West decides to escape by flying the ship down into the rapidly disintegrating planet, gaining enough speed to escape by the time the planet has completely torn itself apart before they fly out the other side.
Idiot Ball / Idiot Plot: In the movie, John Robinson is going to Alpha Prime to lead the team that will begin construction of the Hypergate that will connect to Earth, being in stasis for the ten year journey there. In that time, the Earth Gate will be hopefully completed in Earth orbit. Sounds good, except it won't have anything to connect to! Construction at Alpha Prime won't even begin until he arrives and when he does, it should take another ten years to build their Gate! Thus, it will take 20 years until the project is complete, the exact amount of time the planet has left until it dies. Either no-one realises this, or they do and don't point it out, but either way, isn't this plan cutting it pretty close, Doc?
Further more, try and figure out why the Jupiter 2 has a Hyperdrive installed, when it's rendered completely useless without the Hypergate to guide it to it's destination? After they built the Alpha Gate did they intend to come back? Earth would have become uninhabitable by that point!
In the near-finale of the movie, Future-Will constructed a working time portal, which he planned to use to jump back to the day of the launch that sent him, his family and Smith on the catastrophic journey the movie explored. As it turns out, Future-Smith, now a giant spider mutant, planned to hijack the time portal and flood the Earth with his alien spider swarm and dominate the world. Seems legit, and it provides a fight for the past as John and Future-Will kill Future-Smith with his own swarm. So, with a time portal free for a single one-way trip, John is going to go back and stop his family from becoming lost in space, right? Actually, he decides to jump back a few minutes to prevent his present-day family from being killed in a meteor shower. Um... kay.
Actually, it's more to do with the fact that the gravity and temporal anomalies from the machine might potentially rip the Earth apart as it had done the planet they were on. Thus, the reason why it was "safer" to travel just a few minutes earlier was because the planet was already collapsing at that point.
Motor Mouth: Penny, in the movie, at least in her video diaries.
Power Armor: In the film, Major West has a set, complete with a Collapsible Helmet, that he uses to protect the Robinsons from the spider monsters.
Role Reprisal: With the 1998 film, Dick Tufeld would reprise his role of Robot.
Sequel Hook: In the movie, the crew are forced to use the warp drive without a gate again, sending them to potentially anywhere in the galaxy. The commentary has Akiva Goldsman excitedly talking about his plans for the sequel, which comes off as rather sad now, especially since it sounds like he was saving a lot of his better ideas for it.
There's also some implication that the star charts from the future-ship they encountered will allow them to warp to the right place, but it's never stated directly.
Not to mention, the fact that at the end of the film, Dr Smith is still alive, still a mutant and still The Starscream.
Shout-Out: The movie somehow manages to have ones to The Waltons (in the scene where the family all say "Good night" to each other - lampshaded when West says "You have got to be kidding") and, despite the unlikeliness of anyone outside Britainnote where the film was shot getting it, Dad's Army (in the final scene, when Smith runs into the cabin as they're about to blast off into space, wailing "We're doomed! We're doomed!").