Friday, 15 August 2008

No.22 : Westworld

IMDb Link:

Westworld is a 1973 sci-fi adventure that see androids run amok at a futuristic theme park.

The film opens in annoying fashion with a faux TV commercial for the Delos resort that comprises the three ‘Worlds’ of Roman, Medieval and Western. A cynic may say these three worlds are fortunately similar to the sets an average movie studio would have lying around but that’s not me. The happy punters all extol the virtues of the resort in a sequence that runs for three whole minutes - at least two too many.

The film proper begins with our heroes on route to Westworld. Hunky James Brolin has been before and this time he’s taking along his wimpy pal Richard Benjamin, who’s getting over a divorce. They arrive in town and soon fall afoul of android Yul Brynner, who is a slightly paunchier version of himself in ‘The Magnificent Seven’. Of course things go to plan and our guys dispatch Yul and head off to the brothel - my kind of guys!

Throughout their adventure we also get several scenes of small things going awry, and the worried park manager asking the board for a shut down - fat chance. Inevitably things go badly wrong and the androids over come their programming to become killing machines. In an interesting twist it’s the more world wise Brolin who gets killed leaving his wimpy mate to take on the revitalised Yul on his own. For some reason the gun slinger toys with his prey and lets him lead us on a trip through all three resort worlds - well they put up the sets after all.

Unfortunately everyone, including the park staff, are dead and only fading batteries or some good old fashioned human ingenuity can save our man.

Despite its short comings I like ‘Westworld’ and it’s one of those films I always find myself watching to the end during its endless screenings on TCM. Although the tech with its whirling tape machines and bulk computers look dated it’s still a fun concept that’s well executed. Writer/director Michael Crichton liked it so much he ripped himself off when penning ‘Jurassic Park’.

It beggars belief that the park would allow the androids loaded guns, and the staff all dying due to sealed doors is plain daft. That aside it’s good fun to see people misbehave and we can only hope it becomes reality. Apart from all the killing naturally. I doubt however that if fully functional sex droids are developed people will sign up to $1000 a day Westworld - Blowjob World would have them out of business in ten minutes!

Best Bit : Yul’s relentless man hunt

‘W’ Score 17/23

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