Wild Wild West Just Wild Wild Sucks
I had the misfortune to watch "Wild Wild West" today, truly one of the most abysmal movies that I've seen in a long time. I'm afraid that there's not much that I can say about this movie. Usually a crappy movie can be partially redeemed by the statement: "well, at least the effects were good"…but they weren't. Nearly every effect was painfully bad, the matte painting backgrounds were absolutely awful, and the animatronic movement was excruciating to watch. I felt I was watching something from the 80s again, but with 90s pretensions.
"Wild Wild West" is a Will Smith vehicle, giving him yet another chance to play the same character over and over again. Experienced talented actors such as Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh are absolutely wasted in this piece of cinematic garbage. Kline is basically regulated to making goo goo eyes at Salma Hayek (who is starting to convince me she shouldn't act in anything that requires her to speak more than five lines and stay dressed), look absurd, and occasionally act as a hostage. Branagh is the only one who looks like he's even remotely enjoying the role (or the film, for that matter; the audience sure isn't). His performance as the legless Loveless requires him to chew the scenery and act absurd. He has invested none of his talent into this film, letting it flounder on his natural charisma and some technical effects "wizardry" (and I use the term lightly).
This film lacks even the harmless comedy of director Sonnenfeld's previous film, "Men in Black". "MiB" never took itself too seriously, and was moderately enjoyable. WWW takes itself too seriously for a movie about two crossdressing, gun-toting lawmen trying to stop a legless madman from using a giant mechanical spider to hold the United States hostage. It desperately reaches for its jokes, dragging routines to interminable lengths with the mistaken notion that it's getting funnier as it goes. Certain shticks last at least 5 times as long as they should have been. A good example of this is a point where Will Smith repeats variations on "This is a man's head", a line which honestly got a smile the first time, a frown the second time, an irritated whimper the third time, and ended with me repeatedly begging for the tape to be shut off.
This film lacks even the morbid interest of a train or car crash. Certain B movies are so much fun to watch simply because they're painfully bad. This film is just painfully dull. A good analogy is a car stalled on the side of the road: just a momentary dull blip on the subconscious, hopefully to be forgotten as soon as possible.
There is only one genuinely funny moment in the entire film: when Jim West (Smith) and Loveless (Branagh) first meet up, they have a cordial conversation with not-so-subtle insults buried in between the lines, with West taunting Loveless' lack of legs, and Loveless taunting West's skin color. Of course, it is a testament to the overwhelming dullness of this film is that this exchange offended neither the disabled or the african-american community. If you are truly motivated to see this scene, I highly recommend finding someone foolish enough to buy the DVD (I can unfortunately recommend someone to this), and jump to that one scene…just don't let that scene fool you. No other scene is worth watching, even in fast forward.
The only thing that redeemed this movie is that I paid no money to watch it, and that I had just received in the mail my DVD of "The Usual Suspects"; which I watched immediately afterwards to clean the nasty taste out of my mouth. But even driving me towards one of my favorite movies (which, to be honest, I would have watched then anyway) is a small recompense for two hours of my life irreparably lost forever.
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