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Just don't take it seriously
Jon Miller12 April 2004
Wow, there are a lot of bad votes for this movie here. I thought it was great. It's a Will Smith / Barry Sonnenfeld movie. You can't take it seriously. The humor is perfectly subtle and dry at times, and over the top at others. The storyline is only there to give opportunities for the jokes.

If you want a serious western, try The Magnificent Seven (or the original, 7 Samurai), Hombre, or some other classic. If you want a light-hearted evening, rent this. Probably don't buy it, but rent it.

For some reason it says that my review has to be more than 10 lines, so I'm throwing this in to make it work. Really a review for a movie like this doesn't need to be this long, but I guess I'll just comply.
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Lame bloated blockbuster
Roland E. Zwick30 April 2000
`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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Not quite enjoyable...
Xophianic4 February 2000
I like Will Smith and his movies. I enjoyed ENEMY OF THE STATE, INDEPENDENCE DAY and even MEN IN BLACK. So I watched WILD WILD WEST for tradition's sake, I guess you can say. It was 1999's July 4 Will Smith hit. I am positive that this is the worst I have ever seen Will Smith in. I tried to enjoy this movie, and at parts I did, but most of it was lame and not very enjoyable, I'm sorry to say.

Dr. Arliss Loveless, (Kenneth Branagh) a confederate rich bad guy is trying to sell parts of the USA to the highest bidding countries, using his giant machines of destruction (walking mechanicals spiders and stuff) to take hostage of President Ulysses S. Grant (Kevin Kline). The two best agents the U.S. Government has, James West (Will Smith) and Artemus Gordon (also Kevin Kline) are sent to stop Loveless and save the president, as well as the country. West also has a personal score to settle with Loveless, since he was responsible for the death of his parents. The beautiful Rita Escobar (Salma Hayek) tags along to try and save her father, who is also being held hostage by Loveless. She attracts the eye of Gordan and West.

The acting jobs in this are fair, but the writing spoils it. The gorgeous Salma Hayek is underplayed, and her character is pretty much pointless except to have a good-looking girl in the movie. Both Will Smith and Kevin Kline do fairly good jobs acting, but the characters are too boring to enjoy. I'm not sure if Kenneth Branagh or the writing is responsible for the incredible stupid and annoying Dr. Loveless.

This movie is very similar to Men in Black, only less modern and on a smaller scale. (save the country, not the planet) Another big difference between the two was that Men in Black was more fun, cooler, and had better characters, villains and gadgets (not to mention Tommy Lee Jones). If you are in the movie for a Will Smith movie, go rent ENEMY OF THE STATE. If you're in the movie for a lighter Will Smith movie, go rent MEN IN BLACK. I'd try to avoid WILD WILD WEST, but give it a try if you like.
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What a sad waste...
Christopher Beilby20 February 2002
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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Moron Director Alert!!
man_in_the_know29 May 2005
Lets take a cult classic and make as stupid idiotic movie as you could possibly make and cast it with actors COMPLETELY unsuited for the parts. Kevin Kline, Will Smith, and Kenneth Branaugh should all shoot their agents. Sure they probably picked up a nice paycheck for this crap but can you ever live down being associated with such a "Wanker" project? For a television series the Wild Wild West was well done for its time and had a lot of interesting plots and characters. What possessed the creators of this movie vomit to trash the Wild Wild West. Hopefully someone will come along and make a serious movie on the television series. Sad to see these SCUM come along and try to make a cheap buck on the creative efforts of others and destroying their original vision. I always wondered how Robert Conrad could go alone with this junk. Then I read that he didn't. He picked up the Razzie Awards as a protest.
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Don't the people making these movies LIKE the original shows?
schmigrex13 July 2008
I won't add more insults -- others here have done that well enough. This movie is godawful. But I will point out two areas that seem to be staples of bad movie remakes of beloved old TV shows. First, how about getting someone to write/direct that actually liked and understood the original? That person would understand that the West-Gordon relationship was the core. In a sense, West and Gordon complimented each other to make a slick, functional crime-fighting machine: West handled the action and romance, and Gordon took care of the thinking, deception, and humor (disguises). This was a well-used TV convention -- think the Kirk-Spock-McCoy triad in Star Trek, or the great contrasty chemistry between Bill Cosby and Robert Culp in I Spy. Add a lovable villain to the mix (not an offensive atrocity like the film-Loveless) and you've got a crazy, tongue-in-cheek action classic. The filmmakers here seemingly did not know or care about the fundamentals of the original show. Not that this is necessarily a problem, but then why bother resurrecting the premise in the first place? Why not just make Will Smith a different wild west troubleshooter? The Mission Impossible franchise has the same problem.

Second, why all the emphasis on showing the principals getting to know each other? I know -- because it eats up 30% of the script, and creates conflict. But the conflict should be between West and the villain. Jim and Artie should just BE. The TV show didn't bother explaining how West met and knew Gordon, any more than Barney Miller, Mission Impossible, or 24 found it necessary to have all the main characters meet and learn to work together. They were a team with a job to do. Audiences understand this concept; having a trumped-up plot about how the heroes meet and overcome their differences is a hackneyed device that only exposes the script weaknesses present. See the film version of Dragnet (a better film, though) for another example of this unfortunate trend.

Finally, a comment on the "race" issue. Inserting content that justifies Smith-West's skin color is no more necessary than explaining Henry V's skin color when Laurence Fishburne or Andre Braugher play him on stage. Indeed, ignoring Smith's race in a movie like this one would help us all look past such issues. If a blond actor had portrayed West, nobody would have suggested a plot that explains his Norwegian background! He just would have been West, and that would be that. But color-blind casting requires courage, and could conceivably cut into the film's bottom line. So, not in this spineless script.

I seldom get mad at movies I don't like. Even The Avengers didn't anger me, though it was possibly even worse than this one. This one ticked me off REAL good. Buy the original series on DVD instead, and see how it's done right.
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It just isn't good
EdRooney8 July 1999
It's that time of year. The time when Hollywood trots out it's worst of the summer. You know the drill. There's a "Godzilla" every year, somebody has to be it. "Wild Wild West" clenches the title hands down this summer, and we still have eight weeks to go!

The Will Smith phenomenon has now entered it's third phase: overwhelming ego project. Teaming with his "Men In Black" director Barry Sonnenfeld, Smith has finally teetered over the edge and released an outright mess. A film that will hang in the halls of all time bad event flicks. Should we blame Smith? I think so. "Men In Black" and "Independence Day" were gigantic hits, they even call the 4th of July "Big Willie Weekend" due to these successes. I submit that these films were hits due to the films themselves, the writing, acting, directing, and not just because of Smith. "West" is finally the film that rests on Smith's comedic shoulders alone. The truth shines through clearly. Not everything Will Smith does is funny.

Based in the television show running from 1965-1970, the simple plot tells the tale of a Civil War era federal marshal James West (Smith), who must team up with a weapons expert (Kevin Kline, at his most painfully unfunny) to thwart the evil plans of the villain, and legless, Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh). Along for the ride is a giant mechanical tarantula, President Grant, and the stunning, gorgeous, lovely, and just plain old hot Salma Hayek. The plot is just a simple excuse to push the characters through endless scenes that give birth to no laughs at all. Scenes that make the audience gringe with fear, as if something wrong is with them. Fear not my good people, these are professionals up on screen, and they blew it.

The screenplay, credited to FOUR writers, has the damnedest time to make any of the jokes funny. You would not believe just how far the cast goes to make this limp material work. It's embarrassing to watch, and even more embarrassing for the actors. There is not one funny moment in the film, not even a courtesy laugh for the attempt. Dead silence. I also disapprove of the attempt to squeeze racial jokes into the mix. Yes, Will Smith is African-American, but do we need to call attention to it every five minutes? The movie would've been better served had it left the race issue alone and just played up the potential fun of the concept.

Will Smith is simply miscast as the hero. He's an amiable actor who's proven himself with stronger material. This film clearly shows just how paper thin the Smith charm can be. While Kevin Kline tries but fails as well, it's really Hayek's role that's a mystery. She's barely in the film, and when her character is explained, you come to realize that she's not apart of the story at all. Hayek has always been a fun performer with winning personality. All this movie asks of her is to be the butt (literally) of a few jokes and keep the cleavage coming. A shameful waste of talent.

Director Sonnenfeld has also been at the helm of better pictures ("Get Shorty"), but for some reason I have yet to see a truly great film directed by him. There always seems to be a spark missing from the action, like a better, funnier film was in there somewhere but he can't find it. Relying in great amounts on special effects and the considerable use of easy-to-spot green screen shots, the typical Sonnenfeld camera work is either buried under all the mayhem or just not inventive when the attempt is actually made. This is a very top-heavy production with little chance to breathe. But Sonnenfeld made this choice, he must be held accountable for it.

The movie has been through many edits, and this shows with wildly out of tune continuity and many unexplained plot twists. Also grating on the brain is Elmer Bernstein's annoying and featherweight musical score. While we have Warner Brothers shamefully trotting out it's "We pray it's as big as the 'Men In Black'" Will Smith rap tune, Bernstein provides a flat score that serves no purpose to enliven the film. The cinematography is also without color, and the catering probably sucked too.

"Wild Wild West" is the product of zero imagination. A lifeless summer film that seems to stick out even more in this unusually good movie season. I am always wary of comic westerns, and this film seals that envelope. If this is what 160 million buys you? I'll take the 3 million "South Park" any day.------------ 0
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Fizzling Saddles ...
Merwyn Grote7 June 2005
Buried in this god-awful disaster of a movie is a germ of an inkling of an iota of a great idea. It is not the idea of making a big blockbuster out of the great old 1960s TV show "The Wild Wild West," an idea which can, at best, be described as tiresomely uninspired. Nor is there brilliance in transforming the image of the lead character just so that they could build the role around star-of-the-moment Will Smith. But out of that horribly perverse example of Hollywood commercial packaging there is an intriguing premise, which naturally seems to have slipped past all involved without a second glance. What if the best, brightest and most intrepid government agent working in post-Civil War America was, indeed, a black man? Realistically, how would an African-American, functioning in a repressive, racist society, where even the most liberal thinker would see him as a second-class citizen, indeed, a second class human being, be able to not only outsmart the bad guys, but to impress even the skeptical good guys? It is an intriguing idea because, on the one hand, such an agent would not be suspected of being a threat and, on the other hand, he would have to overcome so many more barriers than a white man would ever face. He would be both invisible and yet stand out like the proverbial sore thumb just about anywhere he went. He'd be constantly fighting two battles. Such a film could be thrilling and funny, yet something rare: original.

"The Wild Wild West" TV show itself was all those things: it was highly derivative of both the traditional western and the then-fresh James Bond-style spy movie -- with more than a little bit of Batman-style comic book campiness kicked in -- yet it was ingenious in the way it melded those mythic genres into a one-of-a-kind series. There was never anything quite like "The Wild Wild West" and never anything since -- including this disastrous 1997 movie.

Everything about WILD WILD WEST, the movie, is just plain bad: tacky special effects; clumsy direction; an embarrassing screenplay; plus a fine, bewildered cast wasted in totally unworkable roles. But as bad as everything else is, the base rot of WWW goes directly to its reworked premise. No matter how open minded one might be, or how much one prides oneself on being socially color blind, there is just no way to honestly accept replacing Robert Conrad, TV's James West, with Will Smith. The time and the place dictate that James West be a white male -- unless, the filmmakers acknowledge and embrace the incongruity and use it for a real purpose.

Yet, the filmmakers want it both ways: the audience is expected to be able to ignore Smith's skin color, while at the same time the entire plot is based on his confrontation with a white racist trying to reestablish Confederate power and seize control of the U.S. government. How can you respect or believe in a film or filmmakers that get all preachy about the evils of racism while all along dealing with the issue with absolutely no respect for historical honesty? It is not clear if having Smith play James West as a cocky, street smart, John Shaft-style character was intended to be a joke, social commentary or just absurd politically correct pandering to black audiences, but it is clear that it does not work. The most outrageously unbelievable thing about WILD WILD WEST is not the wildly improbable sci-fi inventions but that the Smith character actually makes it to the end of the film without being lynched. It's not that the anachronism of a cocksure 20th century black man confronting 19th century bigotry isn't workable, because that very time-warp racial comedy had already been done with much greater success in the Mel Brooks classic, BLAZING SADDLES. Unlike WWW, Brooks and company realized the sheer idiocy of the premise, yet used that to mock both the black and the white stereotypes with equal glee.

Where BLAZING SADDLES is an honest farce, WILD WILD WEST is dishonest and cowardly. All involved probably thought they were being pretty daring by flaunting convention and hiring Smith, but they did not hire Will Smith the African American, they hired Will Smith the action hero movie star. They built WILD WILD WEST around Smith's race, but only to exploit his contemporary Hollywood image, even to the point of letting him create and perform a totally inappropriate (and totally bad) rap song at the end. You can sense the film exploiting both Smith's star image and his race, while not wishing to risk challenging either. The film tries to reinvent "The Wild Wild West" TV show, but the changes are literally skin deep. To really explore and compare racism in America by blending the attitudes of two different American centuries would have been too wild wild of an idea for these timid timid filmmakers.
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Hollywood screws up another classic!
markpetrulo1 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Hollywood ruined another great story by casting the horrible one-trick pony known as Will Smith to play James West. Smith is terrible in EVERYTHING he does but in WWW he was unusually terrible. The improbability starts with Smith (Black) in the 1860's as a suave (ugh), Hip (Gag) Secret Service Agent. Now this was so out of place as to be just plain STUPID!! Knenneth Branagh on the other hand was fabulous. Kevin Kline was O.K. and Selma Hayak should've done what she does best- taken off her clothes!! The special effects were kind of cool but the story line sucked and to top it all off the ever-shiteous Fresh Prince had to rap at the closing credits. There will never be a WWW II because it was so lousy. Remember in "Jersey Girl" when Ben Affleck's character torpedoed his career when he said Will Smith sucked and he would never be heard of again? OH how I wish that in this case art imitated life and Will Smith was a bad memory. Oh I forget; Will Smith is a bad memory every year in about 4 lousy, stinking' rotten movies!
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How the West Was Lost.
phillafella18 February 2004
No other stinker in 1999 could compare to the witless and tasteless experience that was WILD WILD WEST, a big-budget bomb of epic proportions that is a total disgrace to the TV western of the same name. Will Smith is James West, a slick gunslinger who, along with his partner (Kline) must prevent a political assassination and save a town from destruction. Unsatisfying visuals and second-rate special effects only add to the horrible acting and the film's unclear direction. It is so disappointing to see such good actors wasted in such a terrible mess.

0 out of 5
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Tremendous Movie With a Tremendous Will Smith
BadBoy-115 June 1999
Wild, Wild, West was a fun, exciting, action packed movie that had wonderful acting by Will Smith (especially Will), Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek, and Keneth Branaugh. This movie was one of Will Smith's funniest movie's yet. I think Will is an incredible actor with a lot of talent and charisma. This movie is a must see for anyone with any taste at all. If you don't like this movie you have to be the most boring, unimaginable, unintelligent person there is on Earth. Wild, Wild, West was 100 times better than Star Wars and is the movie of the year!
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Not for the fans of WWW-series, but for everybody else!
henrikw17 April 2015
Apparently there is a lot of feelings associated with this title.

Let's just make a rule: If you are familiar with the original TV series, you should probably not watch this - AT ALL.

However, if you are like me, and have NEVER seen the original show, and generally like Will Smith, go ahead and enjoy the movie.

I think it's brilliant. But I can see why many oldsters familiar with the old show may think this is a silly movie. It's probably for the younger generation.

Watch this movie as the interpretation it is. The reviews are not doing the movie justice.
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Hideously Awful
Byers20 April 2000
As a fan of the original TV show, I was really rooting for "Wild Wild West" to succeed. Imagine my disappointment then, when it turned out to be a complete failure, a dud of a movie, a huge disaster; in a word, it just plane sucked. There were so many mistakes and errors made by the so-called "filmmakers" that I'm not even sure where to start. First, casting Will Smith. Unless your willing to completely disregard the history of the late nineteenth century and make race a complete non-factor (which is not what the writers chose to do) there is no way to sell a black James West. Hell, the giant mechanical spider was more realistic than a black army officer in the post Civil War army. Don't get me wrong, I love Will Smith, but because he is black this role was just not right for him. Second, the writing. Four people are credited with the screenplay, and God only knows how many others "polished" the script along the way. Yet, with all this talent involved, the end result is hideous. It reminds me of the old maxim that a thousand monkeys randomly typing on typewriters would produce Shakespeare sooner or later; well in this case, they had a lot of writers carefully and selectively typing on typewriters, and they didn't get within a parsec of Shakespeare. The story and characters were all wrong (they needed to look at the original show, which got it right), the dialogue is truly pathetic (I got real sick of West and Gordon saying "We have to save OUR president" "That monster is after OUR president") and NONE of the jokes work. The absolute lowest point was when the writers tried to milk humor from a lynching; perhaps in their next effort, the writers will find the humor in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, or the killing fields of Bosnia. The musical score was also a complete failure; it was flat, unimaginative, boring and unengaging. The music should have been building suspense, providing a rousing theme, etc. Except, about all it provided was a headache and all it roused was my ire. "Wild Wild West" is the posterchild for the hallow, overhyped Hollywood movie that is supposed to be a guaranteed blockbuster (see also "Judge Dredd" and "The Avengers"), and it truly deserves the heaps of scorn and criticism which have been dumped on it. I can only pray that Smith's next project can restore his now tarnished reputation, and that Barry Sonnenfeld never makes another movie again as long as he lives.
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insomnio30 September 1999
I've always heard people saying "I was sleeping watching..." and I said "There's no movie that deserves to take a nap while you are watching" WWW proved me wrong, (even tough it's not worst than Mr. Magoo), this was awful...c'mon I thought I was going to laugh and I nearly cried. Will Smith was funny just in the opening scene, not even the beautiful Salma Hayek make it worth to be seen. I was very disappointed with all the hype and the promotion this film got.
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Terrible beyond belief
martinblank6118 July 1999
I don't expect any movie this year to be worse than this. It's 1999's answer to THE AVENGERS. Will Warner never learn? Throw big bucks at a '60s TV show, hire big names, but misplace the script. Aggressively awful pyrotechnics. I don't even know that it was worth two hours of air conditioning on a hot day.
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A pathetic mess of a film
Ysman5 July 1999
This is by far the worst film of the summer and it is only July. I cannot imagine there being a bigger waste of talent and money being put on film in the next few months. All of the humor is trite and painfully forced. Kenneth Branaugh was great for what he had to work with and Kline has wasted his comic efforts recently with this and In and Out. Will Smith mugs his way through this debacle and basically reprises his Men In Black/ID4/Fresh Prince acting ability which was great when he had something funny to say. Salma Hayek is going to have to do more than show her butt to become a star. But even the greatest acting in the world couldn't have saved this mess. Hey if you like terrible story line, insulting unfunny racist and demeaning jokes and the poorest resolution to a film in years, Wild Wild West is the movie for you.
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This is not a movie
Dan Grant5 July 1999
This is not a movie. It is not even a pale imitation of one. A movie is supposed to be something that either entertains, makes you laugh, makes you think, dazzles you with visuals, makes you sad, makes you angry, makes you ponder things that you never did before, makes you happy to be alive, makes you any number of things. This movie did one thing and that was make me mad. But not because they were manipulating my emotions to draw that emotion out of me towards any one character or situation, no, they made me mad that I was sitting in the theater watching this piece of garbage. This is not a movie, it is a bunch of scenarios filmed together that has the illusion of a film. This was a thing that gave Will Smith an extra 20 million in his bank account. This was not a movie, not even close. As much as I hated Jaws 4, I hated this one even more. At least in Jaws 4 you could laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing. But not this. I think I laughed once, and that was just because I needed to. It's like taking a breath in a room filled with poisonous gas. You don't want to, but you have to, you need to.

This is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie. Oops sorry, there's that word again. Movie. Let's not confuse this moving picture with a real film. It's pure idiocy.
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Wild Wild WORST
SWhite4 July 1999
When a movie is this bad, it's hard to know where to begin. There is not a single laugh, a single surprise, or a single moment of real entertainment in the entire film. How such a talented group of people managed to spend $160 million on such a godawful train wreck is almost inconceivable. The script is witless, relying almost entirely on jokes about breasts (hypnotic, fire-spitting, buckwheat-filled, or used as jungle drums) and genitalia (throbbing phallic machines, allusions to mechanical devices, Will Smith burying his face in Kevin Kline's crotch, etc). Selma Hayek is utterly wasted, as are the usually talented Smith and Kline. Kenneth Branagh tries hard and is the best thing in the film - but can't overcome the dreadful material he's given to work with. I predict that business will plummet on the second weekend when word of mouth gets out. Avoid this dog at all costs.
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the worst movie I have ever seen
acerimmer200524 June 2005
If you are going to make a movie based on a much loved TV show have some respect for the show,this movie has none.

It takes a show that on the whole was not that bad and turns it into a really bad joke.

Will Smith as James West?! James West is supposed to be a western James Bond is there an Actor that looks less like a western James Bond then Will Smith.

He was only cast because of his name power at the time and it show he is not ever trying in this movie,he just keeps yelling his lines at the screen.

The rest of the cast is so awful i don't even want to talk about them. The thing that makes it worse is that they have all done good work in the past that is good but here they don't even seem to be trying.

Then there is the direction. Has there ever been a more incompetent director than Berry Summerfield?

The "Plot" is just awful.

Doctor Loveless(who in the TV show was a great character with Richard Keel as a henchman)is now a guy in a wheelchair who wants to use a gaint robot spider(That there is no way he could build in the 1860s)to kidnap the President and take over the west. Never mind that the ONE spider can only be in ONE place at once and that all you would have to do to stop it would be shoot it with a buch of cannons and that the vice president would take over for him and Grant would not be able to surrender to him,this is a Will Smith Movie.

Don't even get me started on the cross dressing scene.

Every piece of "plot" just leads to a mindless scene that is only there so that Warner Brothers can show you that they know what CGI is.

In short this is the worst movie I have ever seen,and it makes the Awful Men in Black 2 look like a classic.

I can't believe this made more money than the Classic South park movie on it opening weekend.
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Who's responsible for this mess?
wjeffer28 June 2002
So much potential and ALL of it wasted!

We have:

1) A good director, Barry Sonnenfeld, with two great comedies to his name ("The Addams Family" and "Addams Family Values");

2) An Oscar-winning actor, Kevin Kline, well-known for his comedic work ("A Fish Called Wanda", "Soapdish") as well as dramatic ("Sophie's Choice", "The Ice Storm");

3) Another Oscar nominee, Kenneth Branagh ("Hamlet", "Henry V"), famous for directing, as well as writing and acting


First and foremost, it should be noted that just because Will Smith is popular, that doesn't mean he's good. There's something about him when he acts that makes him appear as more of a "ham" than an actor, a scene-stealer who's insecure with being the star of a film so he overacts to conceal (albeit unsuccessfully) the limitations of his acting abilities.

And for Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh to play second fiddle to HIM? Absolutely criminal. What's next? Jack Nicholson playing a supporting role to Pauly Shore?

Then there's the storyline - are we really supposed to believe that James West (as played by Smith, a black man) is a hero of the Civil War? Of course, the casting of Smith serves primarily as a set-up for all the racial humor (which gets old fast). Logically, though, it's an asinine premise, a fact which audiences obviously picked up on given the tepid reaction to Smith's so-called "star power" in this weak take-off on a really good television series.

Who's responsible for this mess? Maybe it's the fault of all the writers (a total of 6) for writing it, or Sonnenfeld's mess for directing it, or Jon Peters' (and Sonnenfeld's) mess for producing it, or Warner Bros.' mess for distributing it? Whose ever it is, it should just be shelved and forgotten as an embarrassing mistake.
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A Great Romp!
wyllow619 January 2012
If you loved the original TV series, then you will like this film. I am surprised at all the negative reviews of this little gem. I loved it! The chemistry between the characters is outstanding, the witty banter fun, and the ridiculousness of the sci-fi style inventions completely captures the tone of the original show. It isn't meant to be a serious film! The cinematography is well done, quite the homage to the genre, and the goofy half-man bad guy is perfect! The pace is fast and keeps your attention. It is a MUCH better film that the boring recent release Cowboys and Aliens. That was a dud. Wild Wild West is lively adventure that is completely enjoyable! It is a fun film. Those who hate it have either never seen the original TV show (or have and didn't get it) or they have lost touch with their inner child.
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I Found This Movie Painful To Watch
danscohen16 July 2006
I think that most of the people who enjoyed this movie are not familiar with the 1960's TV series. The TV series was an adventure show with elements of humor..mainly supplied by West's sidekick Artemus Gordon. This movie is a comedy. Why make an adventure series into a comedy? It doesn't work. The actors Robert Conrad and Ross Martin really made the show great. They are irreplaceable. Both Will Smith and Kevin Kline are great actors, but they are not West and Gordon...sorry.

Replacing Robert Conrad with Will Smith is like replacing Sean Connery with George Lazenby as James Bond. Not a great choice.

Watch the old series. It's ten times cooler and wittier than this piece of dreck.
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Not a remake of the TV show, but an excellent parody. Truly hilarious.
BigAl-1229 June 1999
I went into the theater expecting a spin-off of the television show I watched while growing up. Well, the names are the same, but Will Smith is way too tall to be Jim West! Likewise for Kevin Kline as Artemus Gordon! But both of those guys, and Kenneth Branagh as the evil Dr. Loveless, were outstanding as they spoofed the TV show. Smith is a funny man and when given some excellent lines, he delivers. This is a movie which deals the race card, time and again, and everybody loves it. Smith, as a black secret agent in 1869, gets to whoop up on the "rednecks" and make them look inept and silly. And he has an excellent rapport with Kline, who does a masterful job as Artemus Gordon, master mechanic.
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Painfully Awkward, Predictable, and Horribly Written
Soujiro2 July 1999
I actually walked out of the movie before it was over, and I suspect that audiences everywhere will experience a similar impulse. The movie (I dare not write its name) is another one of the countless pictures that must have been written by some kind of experimental Hollywood software. It takes several excellent actors, one wonderful special effects marvel, shakes them up and out pops the same crap every time.

First of all, the trailers seem to imply that the setting is some kind of alternate futuristic Wild West. However, the writers decided to cram their horribly written plot into actual American history which is insulting and ridiculous. I liked Kenneth Branagh as the legless southern villain, Kevin Kline was adequate, and as usual Will Smith displayed the remarkable ability to play himself. The music in the film is traditional TV western fare which is bland and inappropriate. This movie desperately tries not to offend any age group or race, and ends up appealing to no one.

Upon exiting the theater in disgust I had the familiar thoughts, "I can't believe someone was PAID to write that, I can't believe I PAID to see that." Although I have had similar thoughts quite frequently over the last few years, this incidence was by far one of the most intense episodes. Watch Tarzan again instead.
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