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Wild Wild Mess, er, West review


Wild Wild West (1999)

We at Bitter Balcony sometimes wish that writing a review for a movie like “Wild Wild West” would be short and simple. If it were that easy, this review would read, “Sigh!” and nothing more. Alas, people expect more from us and we aim to provide, so here we go…

The movie begins with cheesy, low-budget credits: some vector-traced images in shades of brown and black. The opening theme is fairly traditional for a western, but when it cuts to a modernized ditty, we know we’re in trouble. The intro to “Wild Wild West” tells us what we’re in for: boring effects, a movie that looks like a western, and a whole lot of nothing else.

The biggest problem with “Wild Wild West” is the cast, but not so much that they are bad actors. We have Will Smith at the time where he was rightfully cashing in on every movie role he could. Kevin Kline has done some crap before, so I can see how he might have thought this big-budget mess could help his career. But the greatest blasphemy that this movie could have done was hiring Kenneth Branagh. No wait, let’s take that one back: the greatest blasphemy was offering a role like this to Kenneth Branagh and allowing him to accept it! Kenneth Branagh is a talented Shakespearean actor. One would think he would be above this. Why, Kenneth? Why!?!

The story is pretty lame, but there is one thing that is interesting to note. The story is by Jim Thomas and John Thomas. The screenplay is by S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price, and Peter S. Seaman. Did you get that? Six people wrote this movie. SIX people were paid for this screenplay. Only in Hollywood can you have six people work on a screenplay and have it turn out this astonishingly mediocre.

Knowing how many people it took to get this script together one would think it would at least keep one entertained throughout, but nope – not the case here. There are a few clichéd moments where you discover the characters’ motives. The comedy is a mixed bag, but it’s hard to gauge the audience this was intended for. “Wild Wild West” has kid-friendly jokes and adult ones (jokes about mechanical sex toys – uh huh, riiiight). It would be awkward to watch this movie with a kid, but any adult with an I.Q. bigger than their shoe size would know the “comedy” is only comedy by label alone.

Direction (by Barry Sonnenfeld) is what you would expect for fluff like this. We can imagine a world where Stephen Sommers directs this movie and the comparison would be pretty similar except it would set off mass suicides in the theatres.

What we get with “Wild Wild West” is a Wild Wild Mess. Avoid it if you appreciate filmmaking. When this movie ends, you remember how bad some parts of the’90s were and how they paved the way to the Hollywood garbage we have now. Admittedly, the’90s had a few great movies, but they only set the pace for the mess that has been the 2000s.




Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Written by: Jim Thomas (story), John Thomas (story), S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price, and Peter S. Seaman
Cast: Will Smith, Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek

Source of the Bitter: JAS

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
KevinKlinelover (not verified) on Sat, 12/26/2009 - 9:38pm

There is Nothing Wrong with Wild Wild West. It's Just that You're thinking of that TV Show. You see, I wanted that movie Because of My Favorite Actor Kevin Kline. It's a Complicated Manner. If you really want to know more about Him, Go to this Website: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000177/ and you'll find out about him.

JAS on Sun, 12/27/2009 - 11:49am

Oh, we know his work. Thats what makes us sad to see him in this mess. We know he is more talented than this. :)

Que on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 3:25pm


wild wild west is exactly what was wrong with Hollywood, well, back then. funnily they are still making the same mistakes today. I guess people can trip over the same log 100+ times and still making big bucks. as long as they have the audience at the same IQ level.

hope you had fun writing the review.

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