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No. 5, April 2000
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Copyright 2000  www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.

Wild Wild West
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Actors: Will Smith, Kevin Kline, 
Kenneth Branagh, Salma Hayek
Get it on DVD from Amazon.com

copyright: Warner Bros. (Will Smith and Kevin Kline)
Barry Sonnenfeld and Will Smith already worked together in the entertaining science fiction comey Men in Black. Their second film Wild Wild West is innovative in the sens that it almost creates a new genre, the science fiction Western. Years ago, Westworld starring Yul Brynner was a film in a similar genre. But back then, digitals effects did not exist.
 
Wild Wild West is about the year 1869 in which the American President Ulysses S. Grant (Kevin Kline) gives a secret governmental job to the very different agents (as the photograph on the left shows) James West (Will Smith) and Artemus Gordon (again: Kevin Kline). They have to investigate the mysterious kidnappings of Americas leading scientists.
Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) had sent a message to the American President asking him to step down within a week and to transfer all the power to him. Loveless had forced the scientists to build him a gigantic high-tech tarantula made of steel. He tries now to conquer the world with this and other machines.
 
Sonnenfelds new film lacks the irresistable rhythm of Men in Black and, above all, it lacks the dialogues and scenes that make a comedy a success - such as seen in A Fish Called Wanda with Kevin Kline. It is a pitty because Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh are great actors. Will Smith has not yet convinced on the big screen. It is one thing to be the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and another to be a movie star.

copyright: Warner Bros. (Kevin Kline)


copyright: Warner Bros. (Will Smith and Kevin Kline)

Despite a lot of funny details, ideas, gadgets and special effects, the film as a whole does not entertain. But the idea of this new genre may well have a future. The digital age is about to change filmmaking. Not that the old genres will disappear, but new ones will be created and exist side by side with the old ones. Unfortunately, the plot and the dialogues in Wild Wild West do not live up to the quality of gadgets and special effects and Salma Hayek has only a decorative function. Get it on DVD from Amazon.com

www.cosmopolis.ch
No. 5, April 2000
current edition & archives
Art  Film  Music  History  Politics  Archives
Links  Advertise  Feedback  German edition  Travel

Copyright 2000  www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.