Wild Wild West

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(Redirected from Wild Wild West (movie))
For the 1960s television series, see The Wild Wild West.
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Wild Wild West DVD

Wild Wild West (1999) was a film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Will Smith, Kevin Kline (two roles, Artemus Gordon and President Ulysses S. Grant), Kenneth Branagh and Salma Hayek. It was inspired by the 1960s television program of the same name.

In the spirit of the original TV series, the film featured many wildly unrealistic mechanical inventions, most famously the giant steampunk mechanical spider complete with flamethrower.

Wild Wild West was criticized for excessive marketing and poor quality, and was generally seen to have gone too far in putting surface appearances and special effects ahead of plot and character, even for a summer blockbuster. It had an extraordinarily large budget, approximately $170 million, and became a box office failure. [1] (http://www.mooviees.com/mt/movie.php?id=1550) (By comparison, the budget of Men in Black, a blockbuster success starring Smith in 1997, was $90 million.) Some even saw a problem with Will Smith in the role of Jim West. While a few grumbled at the notion of a black actor playing an established white character, most were simply put off at the anachronistic way West is portrayed in this film.

The film was also criticized for having a handicapped wheelchair bound character played by a star (Branagh) who was not handicapped, when various persons associated with the film felt a handicapped individual was qualified for the role. The handicap was the absence of any body below the ribs.

In the documentary An Evening with Kevin Smith, director Kevin Smith claims that the giant mechanical spider was the idea of producer Jon Peters, who wanted Smith to include a giant spider in his screenplay for a prospective Superman film.

Like most of Will Smith's films during this period, a hip hop single by the rapper/actor served as the theme song for the film, despite the inconsistency with the Western tone of the film. "Wild Wild West", anchored by a sample from Stevie Wonder's 1977 hit "I Wish", was a #1 hit on the U.S. pop charts. The song features guest vocals from R&B group Dru Hill, and was a star-making vehicle for Dru Hill lead singer Sisq. Old school rapper Kool Moe Dee had recorded a "Wild Wild West" single of his own in 1987, and re-performs the chorus to his "Wild Wild West" as the chorus this "Wild Wild West".

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