FilmLetterboxdMovie ReviewsMovie Review – Westworld (1976)

JulieGSeptember 16, 20207 min

IMDb Rating: 7/10

PG | 1h 28min | Action, Sci-Fi | 15 Aug 1973 (USA) | Movie

Metacritic: 77/100

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87% Fresh (Critics), 70% Fresh (Audiences)

Director: Michael Crichton

Writer: Michael Crichton

Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin

Movie Tagline: “Boy, have we got a vacation for you… “

IMDb summary:  A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.

This film surprised me a little, given it’s a blend of both “western” and sci-fi genres. Whilst Westworld isn’t the only film to successfully mix the two, it could very well be one of the first.

James Brolin and friend Richard Benjamin are our main protagonists – two thrill seekers who visit the adult theme park “Westworld” for shits and giggles. Westworld offers an authentic “real west” experience for guests, complete with robots who can be killed, maimed and frolicked with. 

Things seem to be almost too good to be true for Richard Benjamin’s character, who is visiting the park for the first time. After experiencing some great things on offer (shoot-outs, bar brawls and sex with local prostitutes), things start to slowly unravel. Behind the scenes where teams of scientists and technicians are watching each interaction, carefully monitoring the robots and the environment.

Enter freaky looking Yul Brynner who could honestly give Arnie’s Terminator a good run for his money! Complete with glowing white irises, Yul Brynner portrays the “Gunslinger” who’s sole purpose is to give guests the thrilling experience of a one vs. one shoot out. That is until things go wrong and a technical malfunction that seems to be affecting all the robots in the park turns them into psychotic killers.

There are so many ways to compare Westworld to some more prolific sci-fi films released in the last 30 years, including Terminator, The Hunger Games and even I, Robot. One of the better sci-fi films I’ve seen in a while. Just goes to show that even films from the 70s can take on the bigger blockbusters of today and come out on top.

Take a bow, Michael Crichton, take a bow.


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