Wild Wild West

The quintessential cotton candy movie: It's pleasant, brightly colored and the minute it's done it's as though it were never there. Inspired by the '60s TV show starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin, a James Bond-ish Western with a kinky edge, this period sci-fi action comedy disguises its fundamental blandness under layers of juvenile vulgarity, furious...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Next on TV

Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

The quintessential cotton candy movie: It's pleasant, brightly colored and the minute it's done it's as though it were never there. Inspired by the '60s TV show starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin, a James Bond-ish Western

with a kinky edge, this period sci-fi action comedy disguises its fundamental blandness under layers of juvenile vulgarity, furious action and whiz-bang gadgetry. The plot, as far as it goes, pits West and the eccentric Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline) against mad genius Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth

Branagh). A Southern aristocrat maimed in the Civil War — he's literally half the man he used to be — Loveless, surrounded by kidnapped scientists and bodacious women in abbreviated costumes, has a diabolical plan to shatter the Union and bring the North to its knees,

ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! It involves an 80-foot, steam-driven, mechanical spider, fully loaded with state-of-the-art weaponry, the kind of thing Jules Verne might have asked Industrial Light & Magic to whip up for him if he'd had the opportunity. Branagh overacts wildly; Kline looks vaguely uneasy,

as though he's never quite sure what he might have to do next; poor Salma Hayek flutters and looks nice in her fancy clothes and Smith just moseys along being his charming self. Casting him as a secret service agent in the 1869 West was a leap of faith in his ability to transcend the historical

unlikeliness of the situation: Sure, there were black cowboys and homesteaders and gunslingers, but a black man who can march into the White House — late — and talk turkey with the President? That's a tribute to Hollywood's blindness to any color that isn't green, and the movie's sense

of history lies so lightly over its sight gags, vulgar breast and butt jokes and timeless buddy banter that plausibility scarcely matters anyway.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: The quintessential cotton candy movie: It's pleasant, brightly colored and the minute it's done it's as though it were never there. Inspired by the '60s TV show starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin, a James Bond-ish Western with a kinky edge, this perio… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »