Anthony's Film Review
Wild Wild West (1999)
The premise of Wild Wild West is really all there is to admire...
Wild Wild West is another one of those cinematic remakes of old TV shows. Like many, I haven't watched the original Wild Wild West show on television that aired in the 1960s. From what I've read, though, the premise sounds interesting. It's a Western, but it has a touch of science-fiction to it with gadgets thrown into the mix. It's essentially like having James Bond wear a cowboy outfit instead of a tuxedo. There's something interesting about combining two genres that would seem impossible to mesh. The idea didn't turn me off at all. I would be interested in any Western sci-fi or sci-fi Westerns, depending on which one dominates.
When I saw the trailer for this Wild Wild West remake with a giant mechanical spider, I thought it seemed cool. Yes, I knew it was a sci-fi element in a Western setting, but I was intrigued by it. The movie features Kenneth Branagh as the villain, an evil inventor named Dr. Arliss Loveless. The idea of that seems interesting enough. Even the fact that President Ulysses S. Grant appears in this movie was something I noted. As for the heroes, you have Will Smith as James West and Kevin Kline as Artemus Gordon. And Salma Hayek plays a role, too.
But that's pretty much the extent to which I liked the movie. There was nothing else I liked about Wild Wild West. Basically, despite my appreciation for the actors and the premise, the script is crap. There is so little momentum in the plot to make the audience feel excited about the on-screen heroes and the plot. There is also little chemistry between Smith and Kline. Again, I like the actors themselves, but when they're forced to do a poorly written script, I could not help but feel sorry for them. Even if they wanted to get out of this movie, they've already signed the contract.
This is one of those movies where I just felt bored. And I mean pretty bored. By the time the climactic action sequence arrived, I no longer cared. I just wanted to get the movie over with and get out of the theater. When I saw the final scene involving a ride into the sunset, a staple of many Westerns, I was like, "Whatever." Oh, and the last scene with Salma Hayek was one that made say, "Um, OK." In other words, she barely has character development. Then, in her last scene, she reveals something about herself to the two main characters. It's something that I could care more about if it were a lot more important earlier in the story.
Wild Wild West is your typical Hollywood story, as in how typical it is for a Hollywood movie to make itself look promising in trailers but be nothing but a bunch of trash when people actually see it. I did want my ten dollars back that day. So if you like Will Smith, any of the other actors, or the premise of a sci-fi Western, stay away from Wild Wild West. Big stars and special effects do not make up for an inadequate script. Enough said.
For more information about Wild Wild West, visit the Internet Movie Database.