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Wild Wild West  

Barry Sonnenfeld reteamed with Will Smith. Sounds like a good idea doesn't it? So what went wrong?

Lets start with Salma Hayek, am I the only one who gets a huge sense that her part has been cut to a shred? Was her acting or her lines really that bad that her role had to be reduced to little more than a cypher. It was pretty obvious that her role was intended to be the third lead in the Movie but she is in hardly any scenes and even then just as a plot device to move the story on. Shame. Barry Sonnenfeld has a reputation for if he thinks something doesnt work in a movie the he will remove it, what must he have thought when he cut most of her part? What did she think when it was cut? Was her role not intended to be similar to Jodie Fosters role in Maverick, but Salma Hayek appears so infrequently there is no opportunity for a great deal of interaction between her, Will Smith & Kevin Kline. Surely three actors as charismatic as these three would have made for some very funny scenes?

Its rumoured that $180 Million was spent on this Movie. Did most of that money end up on the cutting room floor too? Yes you can see that to create a legless Kenneth Branagh and a huge mechanical spider would cost, but that much? Personally for that amount of money I expect to be amazed but it all just felt so pedestrian.

Kenneth Branagh had his finest ham actor hat on throughout this movie, you could almost feel that he was going to have as much fun as possible with his role and be as cheesy as possible. Was he frightening, as all good movie villains should be? In a word, No.

Maybe that is another thing wrong with this Movie, were they trying for it to be deliberately cheesy? and be a knowing pastiche? Again think they failed on that too. Cheese has a very fine line betwen brie and cheddar, and this film crossed that line totally. Knowing pastiches can be great if the audience is clued in that it is a pastiche but I do not think the audience could have figured that out.

Back to the script, what little there was of it. How much rewrites did the script have was it overworked, or was the cocnept so slim that it would have been impossible to fully flesh it out to a full length movie. High concept is great, as this movie so obviously is high concept, but does high concept not need a good story to back it up.

Its a shame that this film did not fully succede in its aims. The concept sounds like a fun one, Will Smith is an effective leading man, Kevin Kline is a great supporting actor, and Barry Sonnenfeld is a very effective director as he proved so well with Addams Family Values and Men In Black.

Guess Wild Wild West just lacked that hint of inspiration that all good movies need. Just hope if Will Smith and Barry Sonnenfeld reteam again that they are able to find that spark again

Tall Guy

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