Wild wild West
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities
From the director of Men In Black and inspired by the hugely popular TV series, Wild wild west follows special government agent James West (Will Smith), long on charm and wit, special government agent Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline) a master of disguise and the brilliant but diabolical Doctor Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh). West and Gordon begin as competitors but soon pool their talents to become a wily team of operatives who trust each other... most of the time.
Persons of interest
- Will Smith .... Captain James West
- Kevin Kline .... US Marshal Artemus Gordon
- Kenneth Branagh .... Dr Arliss Loveless
- Salma Hayek .... Rita Escobar
- M. Emmet Walsh .... Coleman
- Ted Levine .... General "Bloodbath" McGrath
- Frederique Van Der Wal .... Amazonia
- Musetta Vander .... Munitia
- Sofia Eng .... Miss Lippenrieder
- Ling Bai .... Miss East
- Garcelle Beauvais .... Belle
- Rodney A Grant .... Hudson
- EJ Callahan .... Mr Pinkerton
- Jim Thomas .... Storywriter
- John Thomas .... Screenwriter
- Barry Sonnenfeld .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
Special Agent Matti
Will Will Smith.
Now that's fine if y'all happen to be a Big Willy fan, but the film ends up pandering to his talents rather than the other way around. In a perfect world a screenwriter writes a script and then the director casts actors who can fill the roles. In the current corporate world, John Thomas has written a script for an actor who walks into the character's shoes as easily as if they were their own... because they are. And while he's on the subject, what parent would name their son John with a surname like Thomas?
Back to the movie: it's a low-brained romp through some hijinx and special effects toward the entirely predictable end. If you don't happen to have a brain currently installed, or you're running Microsoft Witless 2000, you'll find it funny, exciting and entertaining. If you've used up all your processing capability at work during the week you'll find it comfortingly mindless. If you've just installed Linux then put it away for a rainy day.
Uh-oh, I have only just realised that that expression rhymes: put it away for a rainy day. Time to decrease the medication.
On to the acting (hee, hee, hee): Will is a black, jive-talking, sly-walking womaniser who can charm or fight his way out of anything. Not much of a stretch, as you can imagine. Kevin continues to astound critics by doing brilliant movies one year and then doing b________ movies the next. Did you like the way that I created that comparison? It's good isn't it? Very clever! [Get on with it! - Director of Intelligence]
Kenneth Branagh does a disappearing act by being completely unrecognisable and incredibly miscast as the over the top, one-dimensional villain with bad facial hair. Hang on, sounds just like his version of Hamlet. Oh well, westerns have always been about Shakespeare, even if no-one realised it. Salma is an excuse to throw some close up breasts and buttocks at the audience. you know, like they need one (an excuse, that is).
If you are getting the impression that Wild wild West is a bloke movie, then you're right, it is. Nubile girlies, explosions, fighting, bleeding and dying, massive metal monsters pounding across the virgin landscape... h minutes... you get the picture but should you get the video or the DVD? Well, that's up to you. I wouldn't dream of attempting to influence your decision. but... if you're not much of a thinker, this is a good one for you. Otherwise, feel free to save your money for Star wars.
Media intelligence (DVD)
- The steel assassin (game): Choice between a 3d third person "run around and shoot the bad guys" action theme and a mystery adventure that works on brains rather than brawn. They're ok but nothing that would stand alone.
- From the small screen to the silver screen and Western mythology (essays): A bit of brain food... good for making your parents think that you're getting an education. They're both very bland but they do give you some apropos facts.
- It's a whole new west (documentary): Behind-the-scenes mini-documentary hosted by Salma and featuring a host of extras pretending to be crew. If you've never been on a film set don't be fooled: these guys are way too clean.
- Loveless' lair (documentaries: Wardrobes of the West, Good guys' gadgets, Loveless' ladies, Evil devices): Some more behind-the-scenes stuff.
- Subtitles: English, English captions, French, Italian, Spanish & German
Security censorship classification
94 minutes (1:34 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
DVD retail: 9 October 2000
VHS retail: 9 October 2000