Wild Wild West (1999) Steampunk Meets West

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The American Civil War has ended but not for everyone and not for every country either. Everyone wants a part of the United Stats and only Capt. James West and U.S. Marshal Artemus Gordon stand in their way. This award winning film is a timeless keepsake and really does show some of the best of Will Smith and Kevin Kline. Something for everyone in this film from Steampunk to Western and even Salma Hayek behind, a wonderful site to see indeed.

The film starts with a scientist running threw the woods with a strange metal collar with magnets attached. Chasing him is a razor sharp spinning disk like a buzz saw and it is gaining on him every step he takes till it catches up to him. Next wae have General ‘Bloodbath’ McGrath played by Ted Levine pulling the disk from the ground as the opening credits begin to roll. This is mostly a fast paced film with a lot of comedic liberties to keep you laughing and wanting to see more. This film has a clever mix of slapstick, suspense, partial nudity of Salma Hayek and Will Smith and plenty of put-downs and innuendos to keep you entertained even after the credits on this film end. Director Barry Sonnenfeld did an excelent job of putting this film together.

James West and Artemus Gordon have been tasked by President Ulysses S. Grant to find out what has been happened to missing scientists as well as the plans of Dr. Arliss Loveless played by Kenneth Branagh who has demanded that the United States surrender to him. This film is a love letter to the fans of the original show Wild Wild West that ran in the 60’s. It might not be what the fans expected but it is indeed a treat for them and was done in the spirit of the first TV show as we see the exploits of the first 2 Secret Service agents under Grant.

Loveless is a Confederate inventor that feels that he was betrayed by The South for surrendering to the Union. Loveless was a maker of advanced weaponry and according to the film the one to make the first tank. It was the use of this tank by McGrath on a freed slave town that caused Will Smith’s character Capt. James West to start chasing the general all over the States. It was during the testing of the tank that West’s parents were killed as well as the rest of the town. The tank was able to roll in and just shoot everyone over and over as the turret spun. A truly devastating killing machine and the type of weapons that Loveless enjoyed making and testing. He loved it so much that it caused him to loose the lower half of his body, a point that West continually reminds him of in pun after pun.

This is by far a serious film and anyone expecting the dramatic westerns that they grew up on will not find that here in this film. This is a comedy that you can watch with the whole family but be prepared to answer all the questions of the little ones that might be around you as they start to pickup on the jokes for all of us adults. This film also has some of the songs sang by Will Smith himself. Oh the days when Rap was actually Rap and not just hate songs.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★☆