President Ulysses S. Grant (played Kevin Kline)
Kline plays a dual role in this adaptation of the 1965-69 steampunk spy series. He’s U.S. marshal Artemus Gordon, disguise-loving sidekick to 19th-century spy James West (Will Smith) — and he’s the pair’s boss, President Ulysses S. Grant. The similarity in appearance between Gordon and Grant is supposed to allow Gordon to serve as Grant’s double and keep the president from being kidnapped, but it fails to keep Grant from falling into the clutches of megalomaniacal mad scientist Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh).
Still, the general who won the Civil War isn’t about to surrender to a guy whose doomsday weapon is a giant mechanical spider. Grant maintains his resolve until Gordon and West come to his rescue. Grant and Gordon both scrap with Loveless’ army of hapless henchmen, James Bond-style. At last, the villain is defeated, and Grant rewards Gordon and West by naming them Agent 1 and Agent 2 of the brand new Secret Service. The wily leader doesn’t tell them which is 1 and which is 2, allowing them to squabble between themselves.