A Fun Sci-Fi Tale

Main Cast: Richard Benjamin, Yul Brynner, James Brolin, Norman Bartold

Director: Michael Crichton

Plot Summary: In the future, an amusement park run by robots lures in the wealthy, but bas things happen when the robots run amok.

This cautionary tale of “computers gone mad” is a well done flick, with a solid, engaging story and a colorful cast of characters, the Gunslinger at the top of the list. Mr. Crichton is perhaps best known for his Jurassic Park series of successful movies. This predates the series but also points to same themes found among them.

Peter Martin (Benjamin) and John Blane (Brolin) are two young men who decide to relax at Delos, the famed amusement park for the wealthy. There are three different lands in this place: Romanworld, Medievalworld, and Westworld. Our two heroes decide on the Old West for their vacation.

And what a place it is! Populated by other guests and by human robots designed to look and act just like people, this western town has it all: drinking, dancing, partying, gambling, gunfights, and women. It doesn’t take our two long to get into the swing of things, nor long before they meet the Gunslinger (Brynner). This robot, cast as the heavy, bedevils their stay, although he is easily shot down due to his programming.

Or is he? That’s what eventually happens. We learn of problems behind the scenes, and the buildup to the eventual robotic killing spree is well done. It doesn’t happen suddenly, and is due more in part to greed than anything else. The parks could have been shut down, but were not.

The latter half of the movie pits the now murderous Gunslinger against our frantic young human. How can flesh and bone prevail against cold computer menace? Quite carefully. The chase is well done and showcases some very good special effects for the time. They aren’t bad for the 21st century, either.

This was a very enjoyable sci-fi thriller. The plot was solid, the acting competent, and the story engrossing. I can recommend this one as a very fun view.

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