Wild Wild West

Year: 1999
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Producer: Jon Peters
Cast: Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Salma Kayek, Kenneth Brannagh
I've never read a review that didn't paint this as the biggest turkey this side of Heaven Can Wait, and to be truthful I can't see why. It was nothing better or worse than a sequel to Sonnenfeld's earlier Men in Black - a high concept PG rated pitch with the same elements of big special effects, slapstick, smart-arse dialogue ('She's a breath of fresh ass') and contrived characters.

I also thought it was pretty brave to play a few political incorrectness cards (Loveless and West's endless banter about being black and having no legs), and the special effects were seamless, well executed and well delivered. A rogue mad scientist (Brannagh) wants to disband the recently declared United States and sell its constituent parts back to the countries that colonised them. The President at the time assigns two government agents (Smith, as the gunslinger and Kline as the gadget whiz kid) to stop him.

The story from there is as expected, the interest upheld in what larger-than-life situation everyone will end up in next, and despite all the shocking raps, it was no worse than any other brainless Hollywood blockbuster. Maybe it was Men in Black -style backlash.

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