and a miss
Reviewed by Carlos deVillalvilla
Those of us who are old enough to have watched "The Wild, Wild West" on television (ahem ... I caught it in syndication kids ... how old do you think I am?) remember fondly the Gunsmoke-meets-Bond vibe of the original series. Few heroes on TV these days are as cool as Robert Conrad's Jim West, and no second banana was as eccentric and endearing as Ross Martin's Artemus Gordon.
So Barry Sonnenfeld, who remade "The Addams Family" with both artistic and commercial success, wants to take on another TV franchise? And he's got Will Smith and Kevin Kline as the heroic leads to face Kenneth Brannagh as the baddie? Where do I sign up?
Unfortunately, the finished result is far less enjoyable than the concept on paper. Jim West (Smith) of the U.S. Marshal's office and Artemus Gordon (Kline) of Army Intelligence are working on different cases that keep them running into each other. A renegade southern general (Ted Levine) may be leading an uprising against President Ulysses Grant (Kline); however, it turns out that Arliss Loveless (Branagh), a crippled Southern veteran, is behind the kidnapping of several prominent scientests and is building an ultimate weapon in the Utah desert.
Will our heros save the day? Will there be scantily clad babes for West to seduce? You betcha, on both counts.
Smith and Kline are both great actors, but there is little or no chemistry between them. Brannagh is a fine actor, but his character is little more than a scene-chewing despot without the charisma and charm of Migelito Loveless, the villain from the television series that people remember the most.
Sonnenfeld's visual sense also gets the better of him. Much of the "Wild WIld West" is reduced to a gadgetfest, with little thought toward any kind of plot. By the time the end credits roll, so do your eyes. The camp factor is high, but two hours of it can wear down even the hardiest soul.
Theater or Video?
If you didn't see it in the theaters, it doesn't get any better on videotape.
a laugh or two
Reviewed by Dr Gone
I don't have much to say about "Wild Wild West" at this moment, except to say I kinda liked it, and had a good time. Not a great film, but an enjoyable one.
The best performance is from a nearly unrecognizable Kenneth Brannagh, who spits out a southern accent like snake venom. Ted Levine is amusing as the Confederate general. Kline and Smith are close to insufferable, but watchable and amusing at times.
Theater or Video?
I didn't see it in a theater, just on videotape, and thought it was OK. Like I said, I had fun.
DVD at Amazon.com.
VHS at Amazon.com.
See cast, credit and other details about "Wild Wild West" at Internet Movie Data Base.