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Westworld: Season One

Review by CJ

westworld-season-1

Director:
Jonathan Nolan, Richard J. Lewis, Neil Marshall, Vincenzo Natali, Jonny Campbell, Fred Toye, Stephen Williams, Michelle MacLaren

Writer:
Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, Daniel T. Thomsen, Ed Brubaker, Dominic Mitchell, Halley Wegryn Gross, Charles Yu, Dan Dietz, Kath Lingenfelter, based on the film written by Michael Crichton

Starring:
Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, Shannon Woodward, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Luke Hemsworth, Simon Quarterman, Tessa Thompson

Other notable appearances:
Steven Ogg, Rodrigo Santoro, Ben Barnes, Jimmi Simpson, Gina Torres, Clifton Collins Jr, Leonardo Nam, Ptolemy Slocum

Running time:
68 minute season premiere, 56-60 minutes per episode, 90 minute season finale

Number of episodes:
10

 

Westworld is a futuristic theme park designed to emulate the American Old West and filled with lifelike androids who cater to the guests’ every whim. With teams of quality assurance, security safeguards and behavioural controls, what could possibly go wrong?

Westworld is a magnificent television show that starts out slow and steady then puts the pedal to the metal until the last moment of season one.

The casting of Westworld is spot on. Evan Rachel Wood shows great diversity in her role as park host Dolores. Ed Harris is fantastic as the mysterious “man in black”. Anthony Hopkins is always a careful delight to watch and his role as park creator in Westworld is no exception. There is a big cast and I can’t think of a single major cast member whose performance didn’t impress me.

The sets for Westworld are mostly magnificent. There are gorgeous sweeping shots of western plains and the futuristic look of Westworld’s “back end” contrasts the differences between the worlds well. There were a few times when it seemed obvious CGI or green screens had been used, but these were few and the storyline was absorbing enough to overlook these instances.

Westworld’s plot is engaging and exciting with some incredibly well crafted twists. It does feel a bit like Jurassic Park, which makes sense when you realise that the 1973 film of the same name, on which Westworld is based, was created by Michael Crichton nearly two decades before the Jurassic Park novel was released.

Westworld is a must see for fans of modern westerns. I also feel that Westworld will pleasantly surprise some viewers who don’t traditionally enjoy westerns, much like how Game of Thrones appeals to some viewers who don’t traditionally like medieval settings or fantasy themes.

Rating:
5 Stars

“You can’t play God without being acquainted with the Devil.”

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