Westworld


It looks like the 1973 sci-fi film Westworld. directed by the Michael Crichton, has been given an upgrade or reboot. The original starred Yul Brynner, who is now replaced by the wonderful Anthony Hopkins. It’s set in a Wild West theme park, where all the cowboys, good-time girls and barflies sippin’ whisky are, in fact, robots. The newcomers are rich tourists that are able to shoot, stab and have sex with the robots with impunity, 
 

A blonde woman sits in a chair in a dark room. A voice questions her about her reality and awakening from her dream…
The newcomers arrive in a town by old-fashioned steam train. A young man, who we learn is called Teddy, walks through the seemingly old western town, as a posse is being organised to chase a man who murdered the Marshall. Teddy goes into a saloon, but then notices a woman outside. He runs out to meet her – she seems glad he came back – and the two ride out together. After a day of the woman teaching Teddy about her herd, they return to her ranch and find a terrible scene. Someone has killed her parents and poured what appeared to be milk over their bodies. Teddy comes in shooting and takes out the villains.


A gunslinger in black, played by Ed Harris, arrives at the farm and finds the woman, who we now know is called Delores, crying over her father. He mentions to her that he has been coming to the ranch for 30 years but she doesn’t remember him. Teddy confronts and tries to shoot him and tries to shoot but the bullets seem to just bounce off him, like Superman. The gunslinger laughs at Teddy and drags Dolores off to rape her in the barn. Teddy continues shooting with no effect, and is shot by the gunslinger as he drags Dolores, screaming, to the barn.


A new day begins, Dolores wakes. Teddy rides a train into town. The whole circus has reset and begins again, almost like Groundhog Day with cowboys. Anthony Hopkins is as brilliant as ever playing the cleverly-named Ford, a genius programmer and creator of Westworld. As the first episode comes to its bloody and futuristic end, one of the robots threatens to destroy his creator, Ford: saying “I will do such things; what they are yet I know not, but they shall be the terrors of the earth.” He was merely digging out fragments of memory of a previous “character” he had played in Westworld – a deranged cultist with a university education and some knowledge of Shakespeare. A little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing.

 

All in all, it’s an intriguing concept and I’m left wanting to see more of this dystopian future theme park.

 

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