tek's rating:

More Wild Wild West, on CBS
IMDb; Wikia; Wikipedia

This aired in 1980. It's the second of two TV movies based on the 1960s series The Wild Wild West, following 1979's The Wild Wild West Revisited. Although apparently it was broken up into two parts, which aired on consecutive nights, so I'd sort of think of it more as a miniseries. Except... it's still the length of just one movie. And I certainly didn't see it when it first aired, so... I dunno what to think. And I don't care enough to spend a lot of time trying to figure out whether to put my review under "TV movies" or "miniseries." It's just easier to call it a movie. In any event, I would assume that I first saw it around the same time I first saw the previous TV movie, though I'm really not sure whether that was in the 80s or 90s. (And I can't be entirely sure I didn't see this until sometime later than I saw that one.) Anyway, I got both movies as a double feature DVD in 2017, which is when I wrote my review of the first movie. But I didn't get around to watching and reviewing the second movie until 2018. (And when I did, I was not at all sure if I'd actually seen it before or not. But I suppose I probably did.)

Well, between May and August of 1890, four identical men (all played by Jonathan Winters) are killed with bombs. It turns out they were murdered by their brother, Professor Albert Paradine II (also Winters), who was upset that they had decided to become law-abiding people rather than villains. (The movie gives the impression that their father, Albert Paradine the first, had been a major villain, though as far as I know such a character never appeared in the original series. And apparently AP2 was created as a stand-in for Miguelito Loveless Jr., from the first movie, which kind of makes sense. I guess.) Anyway, Jim West and Artemus Gordon get recalled to duty yet again, to deal with Paradine. Robert Malone sends them out west to find out what Paradine wants. When they get there, he immediately greets them in a surprisingly friendly manner. It turns out that he has no fear of them (or anyone) because he can turn himself invisible. I definitely thought it was odd that the Secret Service agents didn't manage to take him out despite that, because it was always pretty easy to tell where he was just by the fact that he was always either speaking to them or pushing people and objects around. But there is a later scene where they do try and fail to tackle him. Aside from invisibility, he has other resources, including bombs much like the ones Loveless used in the first movie. He also has a casino/circus, and a pair of brothers who are an obvious parody of The Incredible Hulk (which even gets lampshaded at one point). And he has a pair of beautiful twins named Daphne and Yvonne working for him. And... as Artie points out (more than once, I think), they couldn't really arrest Paradine without proof of his having done anything illegal, despite his having openly confessed to them.

Meanwhile, Sir David Edney also returns in this film (now as a colonel rather than a captain), and he also wants to capture Paradine. His assistant from the first movie isn't with him, but he has a new one named Mirabelle Merriwether (Emma Samms), though we don't really see much of them in this movie. Of more importance is the U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Messenger (who is an obvious parody of Henry Kissinger). Also, throughout the movie, Jim and Artie are occasionally pursued by a woman named Juanita (Liz Torres, whom I didn't recognize at all, because she looked different than I've ever seen her in her later work), and by her brothers and cousins. Juanita wants Jim dead, for more or less predictable reasons, though that eventually gets settled.

Anyway, Paradine intends to start a world war by pitting various countries against each other, after which he would pick up the pieces and take control, himself. (Yes, the whole concept of World Wars I and II is spoofed.) So, of course, Jim and Artie have to stop him. And eventually, Paradine goes to Washington D.C., to interfere with a peace conference. And... I dunno, all kinds of stuff happens. It's all just weird and nonsensical, but it's also amusing and fun. I'm really not sure whether I liked this movie or the first one better, so I just gave them the same rating of three smileys. It's not important.

TV movies index