Based on the hit 1960’s TV show of the same name, Wild Wild West centers on outlaw James West (Will Smith) and the master of disguise and inventor Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline) and their plot to defeat the evil Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) from killing civilians and reviving the territories in the United States. Despite Will Smith’s best attempt to save this movie, the elaborate set and costume designs, and it’s overly expensive budget, Wild Wild West is a chaotic mess. The main problem with the picture is its unsteady tone, with several scenes mentioning dark and violent imagery and others with goofy and silly Yo Mama jokes and lame sexual innuendos. Also, while the TV show did combine elements of Western and science fiction, the movie sets course for the steampunk route, which also fell out of place with the Men in Black style humor. As for the jokes, they either drag for way too long or end with the most predictable payoff. Most notably, after West is introduced to Gordon dressed in drag, he encounters Gordon again dressed as President Grant, and finally, he meets a lady at the masquerade ball, mistaking her for Gordon. On top of the lame payoff from the rule of threes, the fact that you see Kline in drag or wearing a fake beard and prosthetic nose instead of another actor ruins the joke of a disguise. Finally, Rita Escobar (Salma Hayek), the brothel dancer who’s searching for her scientist father, was probably the most useless character in the movie. Not only does the Mexican love interest have no chemistry between the two, contribute nothing, and accidentally get the heroes captured, but she was already married, making the love triangle pointless. Wild Wild West was under development hell throughout the 90’s and it really shows, by its messy storyline, uneven tone and unfunny jokes that even Will Smith cannot save.
(1 ½ Giant Steampunk Spiders out of 5)
Wild Wild West review