LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Wild Wild West
A friend told me I was just going to have to get over it. The idea that in 1869 a black man could ride a horse up to the front gate of the White House, hitch the animal, and walk in the front door. If I was willing to believe in the 100-foot-tall steam-powered spider monster, I was just going to have to make the leap of faith that the United States of America would allow a former slave to walk in President Grant's front door. OK, I dealt with that, but the rest doesn't work.
Once again Hollywood bases a movie on an old 1960s TV show. The TV show wasn't bad, but it wasn't television's finest hour either. No matter. Wild Wild West is an action-adventure movie just dying for a rap album. That's about all it is. The characters are one-dimensional, the plot non-existent, but damn that's a nice spider!
Will Smith is in the role of Capt. James T. West, United States Army. Hello? Yes, there were black Union soldiers in the Civil War. None were officers. They weren't equals -- they were cannon fodder. For some reason, this captain is working directly for President Grant, and thus doesn't wear his uniform. (Undercover Army?) Kevin Kline is Artemus Gordon, an inventor and U.S. Marshal. This I also don't by. These are two very different skill sets. Oh, there's my silly sense of reality kicking in again. I must do something about that, say drink a bottle of Jack Daniels? These two don't like each other, but it makes for great dialogue if they work together and hate each other. So this is what our lame writers have done.
Have you gotten the impression I didn't like the film? Wait, there's more! Next we have Salma Hayek who almost saves the film by letting us look at her ass twice. (The role demanded little else.) And Kenneth Branagh as Dr. Arliss Loveless. Huh? Two problems here. The modern master of the Shakespeare theater whoring himself in this film, and the name of the character. Since Dr. Loveless' first name has been changed, does it mean we get to see his even more evil twin brother in the sequel? Ick! Branagh does deliver. I've never seen an Englishman do a Southern American so well. He's completely involved with the character. Too bad there's little to be involved with.
This movie is bubblegum. Check your cerebellum at the door, because nothing makes sense in the Wild Wild West.
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
Released in 1999
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo