Wild Wild West

Bomb Rating: 

I wonder if director Barry ("Men in Black") Sonnenfeld or Will Smith or Kevin Kline or Kenneth Branagh or anybody associated with this film has any idea what the difference between a Western and a science fiction film actually is.

For instance, in which genre are you more likely to see the following: a giant mechanical spider spitting balls of fire that explode upon impact? Oh, sorry, I forgot. That's how Ulysses S. Grant won the Civil War. He stood up at the courthouse at Appomattox, opened his mouth, and shot a huge flaming fireball right up General Lee's ass. Pardon me for forgetting that.

Maybe Sonnenfeld was confused. After all, James T. West (Will Smith) is pretty close to James T. Kirk (Will Shatner,) there are two Wills, and their last names both begin with S. Speaking of "S," that huge sound you might hear while watching this film is any trace of the original series' creativity being sucked out by Sonnenfeld and the requisite army of special effects people, who have become brilliant at turning virtually any concept into a video game. In fact, why bother with film at all when transferring your masterpiece directly to Nintendo 64 and Taco Bell cups can be so much more economical and rewarding?

In case you never saw the original series, James West and Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline) work together to catch their nemesis, Dr. Loveless (Kenneth Branagh), who has gone from a dwarf in the original series to a man with no lower body because there are no famous acting dwarves and because the CGI people had their hands full with the giant mechanical spider. "Wild Wild West" is mild, mild at best.

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