Film Review – Westworld (1973)

Westworld - post

Title – Westworld (1973)

Director – Michael Crichton (Runaway)

Cast – Richard Benjamin, James Brolin, Yul Brynner, Dick Van Patten, Alan Oppenheimer

Plot – Adult orientated theme park Westworld lets participants live out their life long dreams of living in the Wild West, but when park goers Peter (Benjamin) and John (Brolin) are caught up in a park malfunction that sees the lands robots go haywire, they wish they never crossed path with particularly nefarious gun-slinging machine played by Yul Brynner.

 “There’s no way to get hurt in here, just enjoy yourself”

Review by Eddie on 4/09/2015

With an incoming TV adaptation from HBO that is being developed by Christopher Nolan’s right hand man and brother Jonathon and mastermind J.J Abrams and with a cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden and Ed Harris, Westworld the much loved, yet little seen 1973 Sci-Fi directed by renowned writer Michael Crichton is about to get a whole lot more popular. But does that make this effort worth your time?

The short answer is yes but the long answer is not really, as Westworld is film with far better ideas than execution and acts as the perfect example of films that deserve to be remade and revisited as if done right, this not too far off HBO production should offer an abundant amount of goodness for Sci-Fi fans, action fans and all connoisseurs of brilliantly unique and bizarre ideas.

Crichton who is arguably most famous for his writings of Jurassic Park and The Lost World, fills Westworld with an endless mine of material to delve into, from the at the time high end thoughts regarding robots, computer viruses, modern day theme parks and our fascination with looking back at old worlds like Rome, The Middle Ages and the Wild West and there’s an unarguable joy in watching our protagonists Peter Martin played by Richard Benjamin and John Blane played by James Brolin who in this picture looks like a dead ringer for his son Josh, traverse the wild surrounds of a western settlement all the while being hunted by the increasingly determined robot gunslinger played by Yul Brynner. There really isn’t much of a narrative drive here more so a serious of events and spectacles and it’s where this version of Westworld falls the flattest and stops it becoming the true classic it so easily could’ve been, not just the fun time cult favourite that it is today.

Filled with an endless parade of ideas and possibilities Westworld is perhaps a better film for what it might have been not for actually what it is but it’s an undeniably fun 90 or so minutes that marks an interesting moment in Sci-Fi writing regarding the onset of AI and computer technology and with HBO at the helm, I for one am mightily keen to see the TV version of what could just be your new favourite adventure in waiting.

3 misbehaving robot rattlesnakes out of 5

10 responses to “Film Review – Westworld (1973)

  1. James Cameron cribbed a lot of stuff from this film, so did Spielberg. It is very influential and if done right, a series could be excellent. Abrams and Nolan bode well for this property.

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