If Westworld didn’t exist there would be several episodes of Futurama that would be mighty different. Aside from inspiring animated comedy though I can see little to extol beyond the initial premise.
It is the future (for the 1970s anyway). Fully interactive theme parks are all the rage for the wealthy. The chance to live in the style of the ancient Romans, in medieval times, as a wild west cowboy, seem too enticing to ignore, and people spend big bucks to immerse themselves.
Of course the life expectancies in Roman, medieval and the wild west times were quite limited, with many dying of non-natural causes. Just ask Russell Crowe, he could tell you about all three. So in a large white room sit many nerds tasked with manipulating outcomes and keeping the punters safe. The same thing happens each year at so many NBA games.
The film shows the action at all three ‘worlds’, but follows the exploits of two young guys visiting WestWorld ©, one has no mustache but has experienced all WestWorld has to offer previously, the other a glorious mustache but has never been. That’s all you need to know about the guys, and as I have forgotten their names I will call them Mo and NoMo.
NoMo delights in showing Mo all of the things that can be done in WestWorld. The bar fights, the hookers, the showdowns, all conveniently spread out at intervals, with none of the possible negative outcomes of such interactions.
Aaaaahhhh. *Leans back* Everything is perfect here. *Puts feet up* Nothing could possibly go wrong. *Takes eyes off of the prize*
And herein lies the problem with infallible robots, they are built and programmed by humans. All the failsafes in the world cannot remove the idiot factor, and has there ever been a robot movie where nothing out of the ordinary happens?
As the roguiest of the rogue robots Yul Brynner cuts a striking figure as the baddest robo-cowboy ever to stalk the Wild WestWorld ©. He’s on every poster, the DVD cover and the one thing you’ll remember four weeks from seeing the film – and he’s in the film for maybe 10 minutes. WestWorld is clever, well realised and powerful, with all of the adjectives needing the same ‘for the time’ asterisks prominently displayed.
Watching on now is actually a little like visiting a Wild West theme park. You know it’s fake, fairly cheaply put together and that the cast are just going through the motions, but it’s an amusing hour or so doing something different. Something you’ll never likely do again.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. A great poster does not a film make.