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Wild Wild West (1999)

PG-13 | | Action, Western, Comedy | 30 June 1999 (USA)
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The two best hired guns in the West must save President Grant from the clutches of a nineteenth-century inventor-villain.

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(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Amazonia (as Frederique van der Wal)
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Belle
Mike H. McGaughy ...
Big Reb (as Mike McGaughy)
Jerry Wills ...
Other Reb
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Hudson
...
Cross-Eyed Reb
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Storyline

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 <theaten@earthlink.net> and J. Kyle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On July 2nd, it's a whole new west. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for action violence, sex references and innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Loucas Aventuras de James West  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$170,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$36,434,750 (USA) (2 July 1999)

Gross:

$113,745,408 (USA) (1 October 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters of "Spike Guy" and "Knife Guy" were added to the movie and inserted into the climax after test audiences found the heroes fighting only Loveless' beauties to be very odd. See more »

Goofs

The same grocery store can plainly be seen burning in the old village and, in the next scene, getting blown up for the second time. See more »

Quotes

Capt. James West: Gordon, what's your plan for getting this thing off my neck?
Artemus Gordon: Excuse me?
Capt. James West: Well, that's what you're here for, right? You're the master of this mechanical stuff.
Artemus Gordon: [chuckling maniacally] Oh ho ho, I see. *Now* I'm the "master of this mechanical stuff." As opposed to five minutes ago, when I was calmly and coolly trying to find a solution to this very problem. But then something happened. Someone, who will remain nameless...
[throws back his head and shouts]
Artemus Gordon: JIM WEST!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Richard III (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Camptown Races
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
See more »

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User Reviews

Lame bloated blockbuster
30 April 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

`Wild Wild West' joins an increasingly long list of big bloated blockbusters, movies made for no possible reason beyond grabbing a quick summer buck yet which, ironically, by their very cynical and slapdash nature, utterly fail to connect with even the least demanding of audiences. The result is a multi-multi-million dollar debacle that leaves studios searching for answers and audiences shell-shocked into seeking out their entertainment along the more audacious pathway of off-Hollywood, independent filmmaking – the single positive outcome of these dull, empty enterprises.

`Wild Wild West,' like so many films before it, looks to the relics of television's bygone era for inspiration – as sad a comment as any on the dismal state of current movie creativity. As one not familiar with the original series, I cannot say what justice, or lack of justice, this homage does to its source. What is evident, judging from the results on screen, is that `Wild Wild West' is, as with most current blockbusters, top-heavy with special effects and as weak in the nether limbs as its legless villain. Straight Westerns being hopelessly out of fashion, especially for a special effects-driven summertime extravaganza, the filmmakers obviously felt that what was needed was a tongue-in-cheek approach to the material, resulting in a bizarre, but completely unfunny amalgam of fantasy and science-fiction gilded onto a Western format. The disparate styles simply fight against each other, leaving no one in the audience - neither Western nor science-fiction fans - satisfied.

The alleged plot involves the attempts by James West (Will Smith) and Artemis Gordon (Kevin Kline) to foil an evil Confederate inventor's plan to kidnap all the world's most brilliant scientists and, ultimately, terrorize the Union and President Grant into submission. This he attempts to do by creating a giant mechanized spider which is, obviously, a last ditch, desperate attempt on the part of the filmmakers to fulfill the seemingly insatiable demands of the modern audience to be dazzled by impressive special effects, no matter how inappropriate they appear in context. Here, though, the miscalculation is fatal because even the audience is wise enough to know when it is being had. Kline and Smith never achieve a palpable rapport despite the usual abundance of lame wise cracks and sarcastic asides designed to make them `hip' and `trendy' – two qualities incongruous to the setting, which again shows the lack of real commitment to the spirit of the project. There is exactly one clever moment in the film – an astonishingly creative homage to the old RCA logo – that hints at what might have been had the moviemakers been willing to really let loose their anarchic imaginations and aimed for something truly sophisticated rather than simply pasting together a series of confused, poorly written blackout sketches.

Incidentally, even some of the expensive special effects come across as surprisingly crude, especially many of the shots utilizing rear-screen projection. Hence, this film strikes out even in the one ballpark in which it might have stood a chance of emerging victorious.


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