Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 1999. Peters Entertainment, Sonnenfeld Josephson Worldwide Entertainment, Todman Simon LeMasters Productions, Warner Bros.. Story by Jim Thomas, John Thomas, Screenplay by S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman. Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus. Produced by Jon Peters, Barry Sonnenfeld. Music by Elmer Bernstein. Production Design by Bo Welch. Costume Design by Deborah Lynn Scott. Film Editing by Jim Miller.
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.