It is not often that I get hooked into a movie, or television series for that matter, that I spend some time researching it even before I actually see it. Well, West World got to me, and I was counting down the seconds until it aired. Why? Well, it is simple, West World is based upon the original West World from 1973, and the Television series picks up after thirty years since. So, being that I was a somewhat fanatic of the 1973 version (yes, it is creepy and hits the right notes for me as a Sci-Fi buff) who could not resist robots that go all artificial intelligent like, and start killing everyone they see, following that philosophical argument that if you make a machine that is as intelligent as we are, you treat it the same way you would want it to treat you—right. Right? Not so fast; we build the machine to serve us, no matter how messed up we used them for.
So, I had just seen the first episode. My first reaction is, “Very cool”! I was focused, ready to have my mind blown, ready for the twists and turns that the plots were going to take me on as I spend the next nine weeks waiting for next nine episodes to finish the story. This first episode did what it had to do; I am hooked! I even watch the 1973 version, just to prepare myself for it. The 2016 version is way better. In fact, I was glad that the movie was not overly done with CGI and far out video effects. The actors did what they had to, too sell it to the viewer, and I think they did a pretty good job. So two thumbs up.
I watched my Twitter feeds while the first episode was playing out in real time, and the only real criticism was mainly regarding the “suggested” rape scene by the man in black with the black hat (Ed Harris) as he dragged the main character Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) in to the barn. Sure, I can understand how and why there are some who would think this should not be presented on public broadcasts, but I like to think that for the greater majority of humans, we can see into the narrative and deduce fantasy from reality, fact from fiction. I did not see anyone commenting on the lesbian scene where the female technician sneeks a kiss at one the prostitute androids after she had a good look at its breast. So, here in lays the argument that if a theme park of this type and scope were to become real, and allowed to run, I am sure the protesters would be out in full force to shut it down. But then again, this is an exclusive theme park, only for those who have lots of money and time on their hands.
I was a little weirded out about the nudity at first, but then came to the conclusion that we the viewer were to look at the “hosts” as just machines, or pieces of property. They get shot up full of bullet holes, pumped up full of sexual pleasures, and then they are hosed down with water, and fixed up good as new, ready for another day to entertain. I get that. But still, I think the line of nudity was crossed too many times for my liking in that it stepped on the real acting and storytelling—in my humble opinion. I will see how episode two goes, then make further comments on this.
As a Canadian, I laughed out loud when I read that Anthony Hopkins character’s name is Dr. Robert Ford. For those in the rest of the world, Rob Ford was the controversial Mayor of Toronto a couple of years ago. I should also point out that Anthony Hopkins was another draw for me to see this television series. He is a very good actor, one that gets my respect.
The one liner in the show that seems to be relevant and may have significances comes from Dolores, who repeats the phrase, “these violent delights to (or “and”) violent ends,” that her father told her, just before he went all short circuited, and had to be put off-line. Maybe theses words are what sets off the inevitable? Perhaps this is the queue of things to come? Why not, thirty years later since the 1973 rampage, perhaps we are over due.
So, I give this show 9 out of 10, and a good review. If you are into the Sci-Fi, thriller, (and a Western to boot) style of show, then this is it.