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Review Westworld (1973): Yul Brynner was the OG Terminator!

genre: action, drama, science fiction

James Cameron has admitted being a huge fan of Westworld and had told Arnold Schwarzenegger to watch the film and model his performance after Yul Brynner. Brynner as the android with a mission is absolutely relentless and terrifying. It / He never gives up.

Most people seem to think that writer / director Michael Crichton was warning people of the dangers of technology. But if you look real critically at the events in the film, the terror caused by the androids could have been stopped. A lot of the operators, supervisors and management were too laid back and trusting while there were many signs that things didn't work as they were supposed too. Crichton himself has stated that the real intention was to warn against corporate greed. Corporations do jump on every technology available and milk it for every dime they can get out of them, disregarding the dangers and negative consequences. In this case, it's the fact they refuse to shut down the theme parks.

While I can appreciate the intentions, I don't think these themes are what makes this film compelling. To me, it's to see how the guests respond once they realize they are in danger. Because up until that point most guests were having a blast and weren't cautious or careful one bit. They completely surrendered, believing everything they were told. Let's say that Disney makes an amusement park like in this film. I am sure many people would be intrigued and go to this park without a critical thought. Fortunately, I am not one of those people. Take the self-driving Tesla's for another example. The whole idea was that these cars would take over the driving so that you could rest or do other things. And what is the end result? Cars that have to be monitored all the time, since it will react or not react when it's supposed to. Already having caused crashes and deaths. While this certainly is horrific, this isn't what concerns me. The fact that quite a few people were very happy to test these death traps is beyond me. I love toys, especially the technology advanced ones. But I won't even consider having a robot in my home. I love my NEON / RGB / Led lamps. I turn these on one by one. Furthermore, I realize I could connect all of these to GOOGLE HOME and have them switch on or off automatically. I refuse too. Our reliance on technology has become too ridiculous. Sacrificing control for convenience is foolish, and one should always be immensely critical and careful when dealing with advanced technologies. Especially the ones who are capable of killing and maming you. So yes, most of these guests are completely in shock and incapable of dealing with the out of control androids. To see them perish is horrible yet incredibly entertaining.

The standout performance comes from Yul Brynner. It's like he truly is an android devoid of emotions. He is a machine, a killing machine. He is one of many but represents the danger that can occur when you ignore all the warnings. I think I also need to point out the directing skills of Michael Crichton. His choice of using slow motion in the shooting scenes is almost straight out of a Sam Peckinpah film. Beautiful, brutal and very dramatic. Overall, a must-watch for sure and still relevant today!

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