"Wild Wild West"
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld ("Men in Black").
Written by S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price and Peter S.
Starring Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek and Kenneth Branagh.
Release Year: 1999
Review Date: 7/3/99
These are the reviews that I love doing
most: the bad ones!
Because I am probably the biggest loser that
any of you know, I see a lot of movies, with a lot of different
people. And, I always enjoy seeing how other people view some of
the trailers that appear before movies. For example, most everyone
enjoys the "Bowfinger" trailer (Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin) and I
loved the gasps and the applause that always accompanied the "Star
Wars" trailer. In contrast, whenever the "Wild Wild West" trailer
was shown, the comments ranged from "Man, that's gonna suck" to
"Man, that's probably gonna suck."
Adding to this, myself, C-Lo, The Fist, and
Tina "Not Sheila" E decided before we paid to see the movie that the
movie was going to be bad--we were just going to laugh and be merry,
as friends should do. EVEN WITH THIS IN MIND, The Fist literally
left the movie theater and said, "That was fucking shit." The
double expletive! Tina thought this had Hard Vice written all over
it. Cindy agreed that it was bad, but was it that bad?
Upon further review, yep. It blew.
Sucked. Tanked. In terms of high-quality people involved, this,
unfortunately, will surpass "Batman & Robin" as the worst movie I've
ever seen with major stars in it. Even though this was a comedy,
none of the jokes made half of my party laugh during the entire
thing. Cindy and I giggled at a couple of the silly sex jokes, but
that was really it. And, there is almost no action. It's a Will
Smith movie! If it doesn't have laughs or action, what is he doing
The problems are easy: despite casting
Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Kline (in two parts), and Smith, there is no
acting quality whatsoever. It doesn't help that the script is so
by-the-book that you can see everything coming. The special effects
of that giant spider you've seen in the previews are nice, but they
don't add anything to the story. I don't understand why the writers
decided to have so many instances where it's pointed out to the
audience that yes, Will Smith is playing a black cowboy in the old
west, so we should call him "boy", just to piss him off. And
whenever Branagh (the bad guy) is talking to Smith, he has to call
him "dark stranger." This gets old terribly quickly. And because
Smith is the only black character in the movie, he gets to slip into
"ahh, massa"-talk for supposedly-humorous effect. It didn't work
with me. Why not just cast a white character in the movie--James
West was a white character on the TV show? Hmm...and, when Smith
goes to the White House to meet with the President, everyone in the
White House EXCEPT the President thinks that Smith should be
cleaning the floor. Why?
And, the one real shining hope I had in this
movie was Salma Hayek. It's enough that, according to Claudia
"Boxers" Hanna, Hayek is only 5'3", ruining my hopes that in fact
she was much taller. Now, she's gotten down to playing bit parts
that don't make any sense. She was disappointing, and that includes
the brief 3/4-ass shot she has in this movie. She needs to make
"Desperado II" as soon as possible.
But, back to Smith, who I am starting to
lose faith in. Maybe it's the last 5 or 6 songs he's put out that
have all been tied in to title movie tracks, or maybe it's the "4th
of july-or-bust" mentality studios have had when releasing his
films, but I'm starting to put Smith in the sellout category. I'm
happy for his success, and I think he's a pretty cool actor, but I'm
starting to lose faith in his decision-making.
I'll wait for his next movie before I pass
The plot isn't worth talking about with this
movie, because there really isn't any. But, believe you me, this
one is bad, with a capital shit. It's not often that a movie is
worse than already-bad expectations, and that's saying a lot. This
is now on my worst-ever list. (Remember, as with all hard
vice-rated movies, avoid seeing this movie at all costs, or no
costs--even if you can see it for free!)
Rating: Hard Vice
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard