Review: Wild Wild West

September 9, 2012

Oh boy, Will Smith. When I was doing my minimal amount of research for this review (by which I mean looking up Will Smith on Wikipedia), I found out that Will Smith actually turned down playing Neo in The Matrix to be in Wild Wild West. Oh, to imagine what could have been – a black, wisecracking Neo. But I digress. We’re here to talk about a freedman Army captain turned U.S. Marshall fighting against a legless Confederate scientist with a steam-powered robotic spider I’ve lost you, haven’t I?

Okay, let’s take it from the beginning. In 1869, Army Captian James West is hot on the trail of a Confederate remnant under the command of General “Bloodbath” McGrath, who, being a randy bastard, is visiting a brothel. However, the prostitute he visits is really U.S. Marshall Artemus Gordon, trying to weasel secrets about his latest plan out of him. But then James West involves himself, and McGrath escapes. Gordon takes West back to Washington, where President Grant informs them of the situation: American scientists are being kidnapped and it relates to McGrath somehow.

After a journey to New Orleans and crashing the party of Dr. Arliss Loveless, not to mention thwarting West’s lynching with an elastic rope and freeing the daughter of one of the kidnapped scientists, the three head for the “Golden Spike” ceremony in Promontory, Utah. And along the way, because we’re only half way through this movie, they’re intercepted and knocked out by Loveless, who proceeds to kidnap Grant through use of his giant fuck off spider.

To make a long story short (too late), West and Gordon free both the president and Rita, who reveals that the captured scientist was in fact her husband and not her father, while Grant makes the two the first agents of the United States Secret Service, and West and Gordon ride away on Loveless’s giant steam-powered mechanical spider.

It’s not a bad movie. As far as science fiction goes, it’s no The Day The Earth Stood Still, and as far as westerns go, it’s no The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. But there’s nothing really bad about it. The story could have been a little stronger, and the tone is kind of goofy, but it’s a fun movie and perfectly suited to a boring weekend afternoon.


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