I’ve just watched *Wild Wild West *for the third time. I really can’t believe this movie is this bad. With the exception of the giant spider, the gadgets weren’t fun. Will Smith does his worst job ever in the movie. His so-called wisecracks don’t work. The whole film just seems to try too hard and force humor where it isn’t.
I won’t make the mistake of watching it again.
BTW, is the tv series ever shown these days? I used to watch it on a very low power independent station many years ago.
They’ve been making lots of movies based on great old TV shows, and they fail when the makers don’t understand why the show was great in the first place. The classic case was Mission: Impossible. The TV show was always about a tight-knit, perfectly coordinated team pulling an elaborate con on some drug dealer or iron-curtain puppet regime. The master of disguise, the techy gadget guy, the femme fatale, and the muscle all had to play their parts. And when the job was done, they slipped away quitely to leave someone else holding the bag. For the movie, they made it a star vehicle for Tom Cruise as the lone-wolf agent fighting for his life on a train being chased by a helicopter. In a tunnel.
Same thing with Wild Wild West, they stole from the TV series without knowing why it was worth stealing from.
Maybe I just like deadpan humor. Independence Day didn’t do a thing for me, and Tommy Lee Jones was the best was the best thing about Men in Black. The scene of him interrogating the dog was hysterical.
Wild Wild West was produced by Jon Peters, and the best story about Jon Peters comes from Kevin Smith (YouTube clip, strong language) recounting his experience in rewriting a possible Superman sequel. The clip is nineteen minutes long, but hilarious, and explains a lot about Peters - notably the giant spider in Wild Wild West.
I don’t understand how the OP sat through it three times! Dude, you have serious masochism issues going on!
The best part of the movie, to me, was Kenneth Brannagh. His character was hilariously overplayed, and I assumed he was thinking to himself, “This movie is a train wreck, so I’m just going to ham it up to the hilt!”
In the case of Wild Wild West, I believe it was more than “a writer or two.” This movie was a problematic production that supposedly ended up having a what amounted to a team of writers (most uncredited) brought in to punch up the dialogue. (There’s a cliché here about too many cooks but I’m not going to mention it.)
There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with the dialogue in Wild Wild West. I don’t recall a single line that struck me as being particularly bad. It just wasn’t well written in the sense that it was boring and stupid.
WWWest failed in its writing for plot large, and plot small, boiler plate characters with clumsy fomulaic arcs, reliance on reference instead of actual humor, and a muddle of theme that comes from too may writers. I did like them driving the big spider back to DC in the end though. A good ending redeems a lot.