Michael Crichton the famed novelist recognized in Hollywood for the adaptation of his works to movies like Jurassic Park, had his film debut with a film not so well known, Westworld. Not only was Michael Crichton's debut on the big screen as a scriptwriter but also as a director.
It ran in 1973 and Westworld arrived with an attractive proposal immersing itself in the fantasy of a theme park in the Old West, in the United States of 1800, where the hosts were robots so similar to humans in their appearance and behavior. , that the line between reality and fiction was superimposed, this allowed the visitor to live the experience of their lives, an alternative life in the west to realize all their fantasies, the brightest and also the darkest. But what happens when reality overcomes fiction? The film was a blockbuster but even Crichton himself was overwhelmed by the unexpected reaction of the public who seemed not to understand the author's desperate warning regarding the misuse of technology and especially the development of artificial intelligence.
Later a sequel “Future World” would arrive in 1976 this time without Crichton on board with moderate success and debatable quality.
In 1980 the CBS television network tried to launch a television series called “Beyond Westworld” that continued the “Future World” events a bit, the truth was an absolute failure and after 5 episodes it was canceled.
This seemed to seal the fate of this franchise, until now.
The reason for this change (so far) was J. J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, Jerry Weintraub, Lisa Joy and a great cast that brought us back to Westworld this time as a television series.
In 2013 the HBO television network announced the completion of this new series based mostly on the work of -Michael Crichton and a bit in the sequel “Future World”.
In October 2016, it was officially launched with J. J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan and Bryan Burk as producers.
And gave results? Well surprising, refreshing and above all fascinating.
And is that the writers of this series Jonathan Nolan and his wife Lisa Joy were not only able to recreate and convey the profound concepts that Michael Crichton saw bitterly losing to the audience of 1973 as for example the greed of large corporations and how they are able to arrive with the corruption or the danger of the applications of the technology of the artificial intelligence to the robotics, if not that in addition they were able to collect, expand and adapt this incredible series concepts that have always amazed us in the world of Science fiction.
This heritage, this legacy from the world of science fiction and raised in various ways in films such as “The day the earth stood still”, “2001 a space odyssey”, “Blade Runner” by Ridley Scott, “Alien” of the same Ridley Scott and “The Matrix”
All this legacy we see it collected and included and reflected in Westworld but in its own way, innovative, original and as I said, fascinating.
Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy pick up a question posed many times in the science fiction scene and make part of its premise and reminds me of something that said in a promotional of “Future World”: Is this you... or are YOU you?
Future World the place where humans and machines can not be differentiated even when you look in the mirror.
The question of what reality is, what is truly real, how your senses, how the information you handle conditions the interpretation of reality itself, is addressed here with true mastery.
The creation reflects its creator and as it happens to Dr. Victor Frankenstein with his creature, this can sometimes go through unsuspected lands and paths.
Michael Crichton's prophetic warning about whether the end justifies the means or playing at being God that he does in his original work is here expanded with the concept of humanity, the valued right, the human being that supposedly has a destiny, a reason to be In the world contrasted with the simulated intelligence of the robots, this many contrast makes us even be on the side or feel more empathy with the androids hosts than by the human guests.
The combination between these premises raised by the writers with the intrigue and mystery surrounding the biography of the characters leads to the development of a story that more than one occasion gives you a blow to the face.
All the staging does not skimp on resources to immerse us in a world that manages to contrast effectively, futurism, technology and the essence of the laboratories where robots are produced and the dust, rudeness, the archaic of the old west of The United States of 1800.
The special effects are noticed from the intro of the show, but for the right reasons, for its quality, for the aesthetic concept and the contrasts and symbols such as the matrix used to manufacture the robots is an obvious reference to the Vitruvian Man or the study of the ideal proportions of the human body of Leonardo Da Vinci, but above all the effects are noted for being at the service of history without falling into the temptation of technical exhibitionism.
And since we talked about the intro of the show we can talk about the music by Ramin Djawadi, well known for his work in Game of Thrones, guaranteed quality.
In addition we have the possibility to listen in the show, topics from the current era such as Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden, such as Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones or No Surprises by Radiohead, adapted in piano form as in the old west.
An impressive work and incorporated here with a kind of Easter Eggs in some chapters.
Finally the most important, The soul of the show, the current cast consisting of top-level figures, Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, and many more who perform a truly extraordinary and remarkable in creating all the emotion, suspense, action, mystery that is required episode after episode to wrap us in a plot that always leaves you in search of the next chapter week after week.
I did see it and I give it an 8 out of 10 stars.
Why should you see Westworld? Well, the reasons are already on the table but you must hurry because Westworld has already started its second season and is broadcast every Sunday on HBO.