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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Movie Review: Westworld (1973)

Westworld (1973)

The movie takes place in Delos, which is the "most exciting vacation spot in the history of man". There are three made up worlds. RomanWorld, MedievalWorld and WestWorld.

The three fantasy worlds.

 For 1000 dollars a day, you can experience what it was truly like to live in those worlds in the times they existed. "Precise to the smallest detail."

A very unique concept for the time. A Fantasy Island before Fantasy Island appeared on TV. But much more realistic,  with robots that appear to be exactly like humans.

Even the attendants that lead you to the playground world are robots. You can't tell the difference, except for their hands. "They haven't perfected the hands."

"Hey Richard, We get paid and we hardly have to act or say anything in this movie, Sawheeeet".

As James Brolin's characters states "the best amusement park in the world."

In this amusement park, the experience is supposed to appear real. But only to the point that the visitors don't get hurt. The robots are programmed that way. Except, the programming doesn't work.

The movie never really had a star...or a true focus. The listed star, Yul Brenner, had very little screen time until the end of the movie and virtually no speaking lines. The other stars, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin, had to do very little acting and did more shooting and bar fighting than anything else.

Yul Brenner as The robot  Gunslinger. When there is no dialogue, just through acid in the stars face.

Yul Brenner, a big star has virtually no lines in the whole movie. In fact,  there is very little significant dialogue in the movie. It was very short in that respect. He was a great stage actor known for his stirring dialogue in The King And I. In this movie, his main line is "draw".

Yul Brenner draws his gun a lot in this movie. It is not "The King And I".  That's for sure.

There is little to no character development to be found anywhere in this movie. They just left that out. We know very little about these characters and why they want to be at this park. They just skipped over that.

The premise of the movie is one that first time director Michael Chricton became known for. The more complex a society becomes,  the greater the danger of something going wrong. In this movie, everything goes wrong. James Brolin gets bitten by a rattlesnake and then shot to death by Yul Brenner's gunslinger and mostly every robot does not operate as programmed.

Not even acid can stop this deformed robot.

I rarely rate 3 out of 5..but I am going to do that this time. This movie was okay. But it lacked something. It just didn't have any vibe. It was always just a shade flat.

The concept was good, but the acting, writing and directing was poor to say the least. Considering the talent level of the actors,  writer and director that was very surprising. It is worth watching, but it won't wow you.
There has been talk of remaking this movie, and while I am generally against that, in this case it might be a good idea. 
This is a movie that they could have done much more with, but chose not to.

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