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The 100




Wild Wild West
(1999)
Reviewed by John Weber
Rating: 2 Beans

he original star of the original "Wild Wild West" TV series, Robert Conrad, was asked if he planned to see this big-budget, big-screen remake of his popular 60s program. His response: "Not in my lifetime".

Listen to the man.

Two people who frequently make me laugh out loud at the movies, Will Smith and Kevin Kline. A great Shakespearean actor (Kenneth Branagh) as the bad guy. A talented, proven director with a flair for comedy (Barry Sonnenfeld, who directed the two "Addams Family" movies, "Get Shorty" and "Men in Black"). How could this be anything less than a pleasant diversion?

Well, it wasn't pleasant. It certainly wasn't diverting. Formula. Boring. Those words come to mind.

It seems as if Kline and Smith shot their scenes on different days and they were spliced together. That's how bad the total lack of chemistry is here. Branagh doesn't really do anything with his mad scientist character - he pretty much underplays it (although with some pretty bizarre facial hair). And the alleged comedy. We're supposed to find Kline in drag uproarious? That's the best this script can do? Maybe a little less money should have been spent on the mechanical spider effects and a little more on some writers.

This isn't a movie - this is a product. It exists only to sell other products. It's a real shame. A shame that talent like Smith and Kline take their big paychecks and run, fooling people like us into seeing this soulless merchandising effort. A shame that great source material like the original series could be savaged like this. That I wasted 90-odd minutes of my life watching this.

It's not even bad enough to exist on a campy "bad movie" level. "Wild Wild West" is a yawn from people who should know better.


Other reviews for this movie:

Nicholas D'Amico
Chris Edwards




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