First Hit #1: July 24, 1999
Well, he tried.
Say what you will about Will Smith, but he isn’t one to go into a project half-hearted, and you can tell he wants to succeed. With Wild Wild West, he was saddled with a stinker of a movie, and given just how little footage for the film seen in the video, you can’t help but think he knew he had a stinker on his hands. Everyone else did, which is why the film outright bombed, but Smith didn’t resign himself to fate and admit that he had perhaps made a poor choice in agreeing to the film. Nope, he doubled down, and made a single that almost, almost justifies its existence. At the very least, it makes the film redundant, as Smith’s description of the adventures of Jim West and friends are significantly more energetic and entertaining than anything that actually showed up in the film. Smith’s film theme song paints a portrait of a picture that’s way more entertaining than what we got, and features a video that’s also much more entertaining than the film itself – it even has a Stevie Wonder cameo, and extended dance sequences. Kool Moe Dee’s singing can get a bit grating after a while, granted, but the light, propulsive song is a great deal of fun and had it been released on its own, it might have even been well regarded.
Except, unfortunately, everything associated with Wild Wild West got painted with the same brush. This song is everything the film isn’t, but it got a bad rap because it’s tied so closely with such a bad movie. It even got a Golden Raspberry that it in no way deserved. He tried, nobody could accuse Smith of being anything but supportive of the film, but you can’t be in Wild Wild West and get out unscathed.