Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Classic Movie Review: Westworld

Machines rising to kill their masters. A Theme Park gone horribly wrong. Man versus God. Sounds like the plot of a bunch of modern movies, right? Nope, it is the plot to the 1973 classic film Westworld, starring Yul Brenner and James Brolin.

To expand on the plot a bit, Westworld is about a theme park made up of three lands: Western World, Roman World, and Medieval World. The worlds have androids that play roles in those 'verses, and the paying guests can interact with those droids in every possible way. Yes, this includes killing them and loving them. The movie is written and directed by Michael Crichton, who would later write the book "Jurassic Park".

Frankly, I think that book and its movie is a better version of Westworld. Critics say that Westworld explores themes such as "man as god" and "what is A.I."? I say, it doesn't. The scenes that take place behind the walls of the theme park have technical speak that is hard to hear or just the general "This bot is malfunctioning" speech. There are no battles over what the robots do, no one questioning their purpose, a general acceptance of them. And when the robots do malfunction, it is viewed as just that: malfunctions, not a design flaw. It seems like the robots are just another set of villains, like aliens or papparazzi.

The movie looks old, though the story translates well. Of course, the main concept behind the plot has been homaged and parodied since the movie was released (with the Simpsons doing a great job in their episode entitled "Itchy and Scratchy Land"). The movie is good, but not great. I recommend it for anyone who finds it on the video rental shelf or on Netflix. Though don't expect anything grand.

3 Robot Overlords out of 5.


Blogger Gonch In Goal said...

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

6:23 AM  

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