Futureworld (1976)

FUTUREWORLD (1976)
Article 2375 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-26-2007
Posting Date: 2-12-2008
Directed by Richard T. Heffron
Featuring Peter Fonda, Blythe Danner, Arthur Hill

Two reporters attend the reopening of Delos, a high tech amusement park that was closed down after a disaster occurred in the area known as Westworld a few years ago. The problems have now been fixed, but one reporter believes something strange is going on there after a contact of his is murdered. And indeed, there is something ominous going on in Delos…

I was fully expecting that this sequel to WESTWORLD was going to do little more than rehash the original movie. Thankfully, that is not the case; rather than merely regurgitating the “machinery gone haywire” theme of the original movie, this one takes the same setting and comes up with a different threat. Granted, the threat isn’t particularly novel, but once it manifests itself, it makes good use of it. Its biggest problem is that it seems to take forever to get to the new threat, so we spend an inordinate amount of time experiencing the wonders of Delos and putting up with an annoying comic relief character who won his entry to the park in a game show. The dialogue is pretty clumsy at times as well. Yul Brynner reprises his role from the original movie, but in such a bizarre context (he appears as a fantasy lover in one woman’s dreams) that it feels like the movie was bending over backwards to work him into it. Nonetheless, it plays well with the suspense sequences near the end of the movie; you really won’t know if good or evil is triumphant until the last scene of the movie, and given that this movie was made in the era of downbeat, dystopian science fiction, you’re quite aware it could go either way. Though not great, it was an acceptable sequel to WESTWORLD.

 

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