Special Review: Futureworld

Michael Crichton had nothing to do with this sequel. His name wasn’t even mentioned in the script credit for concept or characters. It is no wonder it turned out the way it did.

“Futureworld” picks up several years after the robots went crazy and killed many guests in “Westworld”.

Now the company who created Westworld, Delos, is trying to rebuild and entice new guests with new worlds such as Futureworld, Far East World and Spa World.

To get off on a good footing this time out, Delos invites two intrepid reporters (Peter Fonda, Blythe Danner) as well as some of the Earth’s top dignitaries to come and enjoy the new theme park. But as Fonda and Danner dig deeper into what makes Futureworld tick a sinister plot is unveiled and they must escape before they are killed.

I don’t normally like to contain spoilers in my review but to give this movie a fair shake I have to discuss the key plot point. So warning spoilers below.

Delos has invited all these top officials to the park so while they sleep robot duplicates can be made of them to replace them. The whole plot is very “Six Million Dollar Man” and I half expected Maskatron to be revealed as the mastermind behind the whole plot but I had to remind myself this was actually a Westworld sequel.

While it is hard not acknowledge the amazing idea that the original Westworld was, this sequel is quite limp in its impact.

Robot duplicates that only have a 12-hour battery and as shown in the park are always breaking down or going crazy are actually reliable enough to take over the world? Yeah, doubtful.

The saving grace of the sequel is the performances from Fonda and Danner.

Both take the whole reporter thing very seriously and it kind of reminded me of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, except Fonda never becomes Superman.

One of my complaints about the film was Futureworld itself. Yes we have all dreamed of blasting into space but the world itself is so boring. Why would anyone want to spend $1200 a day there? And what is it with the space suits on this world? They look like my grandma crocheted them together?

There is nothing remotely horrific or disturbing about this film. Well, unless you count bringing Yul Brynner back just for a dream sequence where he romances a very willing Blythe Danner.

One thing that is really bizarre about the whole fantasy sequence is there is no reference to why Danner is lusting after Brynner. It makes absolutely no sense.

Her character has never seen Brynner before. It is probably one of the silliest scenes I have ever seen in a sci-fi film.

The whole very sad thing about it is that it lasts over 4 minutes and was the Academy Award winning actor’s final scene in any movie.

“Futureworld” hit theatres in 1976 a year before Star Wars would change sci-fi forever. And right at the height of the “Six Million Dollar Man” phenomenon which lasted from 1974 to 1979 roughly. So the film was a hit at the box office but really it was just a cash grab.

2 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

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