Director Barry Sonnenfeld has released a lot of films under his name that aren't exactly what you would call normal films. What I mean by normal is that it does not pertain to the real world. Examples like these are Men In Black (1997) and The Adam's Family (1991). They are not your regular comedy's dealing with normal people. That's a talent Sonnenfeld has - making strange but funny movies. However, Wild Wild West (1999) was a mismatch of ideas and comedy. I can also see why the original stars of the movie weren't pleased with it either because it wasn't anywhere close to the TV show.
|The damsel in distress with our two heroes|
The comedy is really on and off here - a hit or miss. Sometimes Smith and Kline do exchange so remarks that'll spark up a few chuckles, but it is not as frequent as one would hope for. In fact, for the times that aren't funny, they're more awkward instead of just falling flat. Most of this is related to the sexual innuendoes. It just doesn't seem appropriate for the film. It made me uncomfortable to see cross-dressing that didn't look natural or attractive for that matter. I'm amazed that the supporting cast was written to be so dumb to fall for such obvious flaws.
The rest of the cast isn't too bad. Salma Hayek is the sex symbol as usual, even though her character is kind of meaningless. She's only there to make the characters of West and Gordon drool and fight for who could bring her to bed with them. M. Emmet Walsh is also a good supporting character even though he doesn't get as much screen time as he deserves. Kenneth Branagh was impressive enough that he could make long speeches that seem to be rich in high vocabulary, although I'll never understand his taste in pets. Another thing that’s not explained.
|Kenneth Branagh in his strange attire|
So along with the few laughs that viewers might get from West and Gordon's wisecracks are the gadgetry and music (sort of). I had a lot of fun with the eye candy in this film. Most of it was because of Gordon's ingeniousness and a little bit of the other things not created by him. To have a mini wrist note pad seems very useful! The score, composed by Elmer Bernstein, wasn't bad either. It had a reoccurring theme and stuck to it. I am curious though to why he didn't stick to the original theme from the TV show....he even hinted at it at one point in the film! Come on...that's proof that you could have stuck to the original theme.
The cast, special effects and music isn't bad but instead of sticking to the traditional western genre, director Barry Sonnenfeld decided to keep things weird like the rest of his films. As a result, the comedy can be awkward and villain's show of power is stranger than is menacing.
Points Earned --> 6:10