Wild Wild West (1999)

BARRY SONNENFELD

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   B

USA, 1999.  Peters Entertainment, Sonnenfeld Josephson Worldwide Entertainment, Todman Simon LeMasters Productions, Warner Bros..  Story by , , Screenplay by , , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Barry Sonnenfeld.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .    

Flat adventure that never goes anywhere for an interminably long 100 minutes. Will Smith and Kevin Kline play the lead roles originated in the 1960s spy show of the same name, working for President Ulysses S. Grant as Secret Service prototypes to help keep the country safe from threats of upheaval. Danger comes from bitter Civil War general Kenneth Branagh, whose plan it is to overthrow the existing government and become the ruler of his own United States of America. Naturally, he doesn’t count on the interference of our two heroes, who are themselves aided by Kline’s nifty inventions. Some of the visual effects are interesting, but most of them look overproduced. According to industry reports, last-minute editing was to blame for the shoddy story which was reworked after many unsuccessful preview screenings; it all works to the film’s disadvantage, turning out one of the least memorable screen ventures in recent years and probably the worst television adaptation ever put on the silver screen. Kline also stars as President Grant, and Salma Hayek appears in a completely useless role as the female love interest.

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