Directed By: Michael Crichton
Starring: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin
For Fans Of: Jurassic Park, Logan’s Run
My Rating: 8 out of 10
Sometimes it's difficult to believe I haven’t heard of some films. This is one of them. It's written by Michael Crichton, who was the genius behind Jurassic Park. One of only a dozen films I have ever given the honour of 10 out of 10. So to say I was intrigued was an understatement. Further intrigue followed, upon hearing this film was about to be made into a tv series over 40 years on. The cast? Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris to name but a few. Add to the mix it's to be produced by JJ “The Force Awakens” Abrams and written by Jonathan Nolan, who also had a hand in writing the Dark Knight (another of those films i have given 10 out of 10) I have to ask. Have I got your attention now? This has the potential to be one of the best series to watch this year. So off your backsides, source out this film and get it watched now, so you can be one of the “cool kids” who knew about it before the series hit!
Now onto the film, is it worth this hype? Well I bloody loved it to be honest. Similarly to JP, it features a theme park , this one allows people to immerse themselves in the wild west, roman or medieval times. Robots fill the park that are wired to service your every need and in the cast of “Westworld” there are gunslinger robots that you can live out your fantasy by duelling and shooting. As you can expect, things go wrong and the park is thrown into chaos and everyones holiday ends up on Watchdog. Sound familiar? Yeah it is pretty much the blueprint for Jurassic Park, so if you liked that, swap the dinosaurs for a cowboy and you have the template for this film.
The film follows Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin) and John Blane (James Brolin) as they vacation in Westworld and their eventual troubles with a robot gone crazy, played by Yul Brynner. The dude is basically a spoof of his character from The Magnificent Seven. All of the performances are just so god damn likeable that any flaws this movie has, are forgotten about instantly. If you really wanted to, you could probably pick some plot holes out but it's probably best to ignore and just enjoy the really good adventure suspense thriller being served up in front of you. And as mentioned in a previous review, there is some dating issues to the actual look of the technology in the film. Something you just have to expect from sci-fi of this era.
If you are of a more intellectual persuasion, then there are plenty of philosophical questions for you to ponder over. The question of playing God and creating these artificial intelligent machines. Whether it is right to then kill them after giving them life, albeit a limited one. But if like me you just like some good rootin' tootin’ western gun action and bar brawls there is plenty to keep you entertained. And the final chase sequence is reminiscent of the excitement of Terminator.
If you haven't guessed, I turned into a small boy when watching this film and those are the movies which are truly brilliant. When you can just simply lose yourself, put your cowboy hat on (You know you have one, don't lie) and pretend you are right there in the action. It just has that child like enthusiasm that sucks you in and that's a credit to the cast, because it really was so wonderfully played that i could taste the whiskey in the saloon. Does it stack up against Jurassic Park? No, not quite, but it has enough in charm that it just baffles me how this film isn't more popular. This should belong up there with all your favourites on your DVD shelf, next to “Back To The Future” and “The Land Before Time”.
It's an hour and a half of pure fun and in all honesty, despite the crazy robots that fill the place, I really want to book my holiday to West World this year. Unfortunately no such place exists, even though we are now in another century to this film. Someone needs to seriously pull their finger out. But until they do, we can be safe in the knowledge that we have the upcoming TV Series to look forward to and I am very excited to see how the story is developed with modern filming and its cast so far. This definitely has the potential to be something very special indeed. So come join me in Westworld later this year. And bring your cowboy hats.