|Mr. Intense: Yul Brynner|
The amusement park Delos, primarily for the very wealthy, offers something that even Disneyworld can't provide: incredibly lifelike robots who can interact -- and even have intercourse -- with the guests. Delos is divided into sections where guests can live out their fantasies: Westworld, Roman World, and Medieval World. Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin) and John Blane (James Brolin of The Car) check into the wild west and tangle with an intense, unfriendly gunslinger (Yul Brynner), who has little to say and seems to die quite easily -- at first. Things start going wrong at Delos and suddenly the robots aren't so compliant ... Westworld has a terrific (if probably not very original) idea, but its execution is hit or miss. There isn't much internal logic for one thing: why do the robots' guns have real bullets in them, and since you generally can't tell a human from a robot, can't a guest accidentally wind up injuring or killing another guest? There is some mild suspense at the climax, but this never really develops into much of anything. It certainly could have used a better script and a bigger budget. Yul Brynner has little dialogue but he easily walks off with the movie with his trademark intensity; Brolin is satisfactory; but Benjamin -- admittedly this material is not exactly Diary of a Mad Housewife -- mostly walks through the movie, but in the wrong way. Jared Martin is a technician; Dick Van Patten a horny guest; and Majel Barrett [As Young As We Are] a madame. Followed by the film Futureworld, the TV series Beyond Westworld, and a 2016 HBO series.
Verdict: Somewhat entertaining but basically disappointing. **.