Jim West is a guns-a-blazing former Civil War hero. Artemus Gordon is an inventive U.S. Marshal who excels in disguise. When the United States is threatened by psychotic Confederate Arliss Loveless, President Ulysses Grant teams the duo up to bring him to justice. On a hazard-packed train journey from Washington D.C. to Utah, West and Gordon must combine their skills to best Loveless and his diabolical machines. Written by
Chris Turner <firstname.lastname@example.org> and J. Kyle
Back in the 60s, The Wild, Wild West, staring Robert Conrad and Russ Martin was one of the best shows of it's time, a interesting mixture of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Gadget Spy films, and light hearted satire. A favorite of mine, I've long enjoyed the show. So naturally, I was looking forward to the big screen adaption, even though it did star Will Smith (Sorry, Will, but you're no Robert Conrad.)
The movie had all the ingredients needed to make a good film: An excellent cast (Kevin Klein, Ken Branaugh, Selma Hayek, even Smith,) an excellent, proven director in Barry Sonnefeld, and a proven genre... Rather, it had all the ingredients that it needed except one... It had the worst script possible.
I've always been wary of any project that was written by committee, and this film is one project that proves why. The excellent cast, crew, and effects of this film were wasted on one of the worst screenplays I've ever seen. The clever (if pulp inspired) stories of the original series are replaced by tepid attempts at comedy which even Smith, who normally is very funny, can't pull off. Kenneth Branaugh succeeds at nothing other than managing to eat the scenery, unable to do anything else, since his lines are so bad. Klein is saddled with the role of Smith's straight man, something that he's just too damn funny to be. As for the effects, like I said, they were spectacular, but the problem is that they seem to be the 'be all and end all' of the movie, instead of working for the story (such as there was in this case.) The simple fact is that they overpower the film.
I guess, if you are a die hard Will Smith fan who has never seen the original series, you might like this one. But for fans of the old series, avoid it, and watch reruns, or else one of the two other shows in the genre, 'Legend' or 'The Adventures of Brisco County Junior.'
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