Futureworld

1976

Sci-Fi / Thriller

187
IMDb Rating 5.8 10 9,548

Synopsis


Downloaded times
August 26, 2020

Cast

Blythe Danner as Tracy 'Socks' Ballard
Peter Fonda as Chuck Browning
Stuart Margolin as Hugh Dryer
Yul Brynner as The Gunslinger
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
988.18 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
108 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.98 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
108 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by trouserpress 7 / 10 / 10

"Welcome to the World of the Future!"

Westworld was the film that put Michael Crichton well and truly on the map as a writer and sometime director to watch out for. His story of an amazing theme park gone wrong was revisited twenty years later, only with raptors in the place of cowboys. It could have been revisited a lot earlier, had Futureworld been a lazy, hurried sequel to it's successful predecessor. Instead the filmmakers produced something entirely original that stands on its own with no prior knowledge of the first film necessary to the average viewer. The film begins two years after the disaster at Westworld, with the newly improved theme park Delos ready to open its doors again to the rich and influential public. Peter Fonda however smells a rat, and following a tip-off that all is not well he takes a holiday there himself, with his ex-girlfriend and fellow journalist in tow. Of course it would be a short and uneventful film if he turned out to be wrong, so he doesn't. He's right. In fact, things there are worse than he thought, but I won't give it away here. Suffice it to say that it's not only the robot technology that has improved at Delos. Futureworld plays on the question that audiences raised following the release of Westworld - can you have sex with these robots? The answer is yes, and whilst we're not shown any (this is a family film after all) both the robots and some of the guests discuss it openly. One even quips "Once you've had sex with a robot, you'll never go back!" If Futureworld was a real place, the implications would be scary indeed. This film seems to have attracted a lot of negative reviews which surprises me, as I felt it was a well paced science fiction thriller. It was produced by American International Pictures, with Samuel Z. Arkoff at the helm, and as such it is a very slick looking film on a very low budget. It never looks cheap, despite some of the costumes looking a little too theatrical. And why shouldn't they? After all, it's a holiday camp, not a re-enactment society. I would recommend Futureworld to anyone who is a fan of Westworld, or of seventies science fiction in general. I would imagine if you're reading this you probably fit into the latter category!

Reviewed by Red-Barracuda 8 / 10 / 10

A mystery-driven sequel to Westworld

Futureworld is the follow up to the innovative sci-fi hit Westworld (1973). In it, two investigative reporters are sent to the Delos resort where the robots went berserk in the previous film. While there they slowly uncover an alarming secret. With this plot-line, this sequel has changed its emphasis and moved from an action-oriented thriller to a mystery-driven one. It's not a bad move really, as sequels tend to just be poor re-treads of what has gone before, whereas this one does actually have a quite different feel and the amateur sleuthing plot thread was a pretty good idea. Although, it does have to be admitted that this is still a clearly inferior film to the original though. It makes a mistake of not really putting enough focus on Futureworld itself and too much of the action seems to occur in the machine rooms and inner workings of the complex itself. What we do see of Futureworld certainly suggests that they missed a bit of a trick not integrating it more into the fabric of the plot. It was a colourful world full of the types of plastic décor that movies from the 70's all seemed to think would be the look of the future. Of course, nowadays this looks fantastic, if a thoroughly inaccurate prediction. I also liked the robot boxers and the idea of Martian skiing. So the ideas are all here but not much is really made of them, as the focus is ultimately on the two journalists trying to get to the bottom of what bad things are going on behind the scenes. Peter Fonda plays the main character here, yet the film's original posters seemed to have promoted the idea that the most iconic character from the first film, Yul Brynner's gunslinger, was a significant presence here. In actual fact he only appears briefly in a dream sequence that seems to only exist as a means of having him appear in this sequel at all. Despite my earlier criticisms, I still think this is a pretty good bit of sci-fi. It's a sequel that isn't afraid to take the story in a slightly different direction and the revelation that world leaders who have visited the high-tech resort have been killed off and replaced by android clones is a pretty decent idea on the whole. So, this still amounts to a pretty imaginative bit of sci-fi which is sure to appeal in particular to those who like the 70's strand of the genre.

Reviewed by BrandtSponseller 8 / 10 / 10

A fine sequel to Westworld

Series note: As Futureworld is a "later chapter" to the story begun in Michael Crichton's Westworld, it is imperative that you watch Westworld before this film. Set a number of years after the events of Westworld (1973), Futureworld concerns two competitive reporters, Chuck Browning (Peter Fonda) and Tracy Ballard (Blythe Danner), who have been invited to cover the reopening of Delos, the "virtual reality" amusement park that went haywire in Westworld. Browning broke the story about the previous mishap, and he's particularly skeptical about the revamped park. Of course, being a sci-fi/thriller film, much of his skepticism is justified. Director Richard T. Heffron did a lot of work for television both before and after he directed Futureworld, so it is not surprising that the film often has more of a made-for-television "atmosphere" than its predecessor. Delos has been revamped so that there are new lands--including Spa World (similar to today's actual "destination spas") and of course, Future World, where guests take a simulated rocket flight to a simulated space station where they engage in recreational activities such as simulated space walks and non-simulated hobnobbing at the bar. Westworld has become a ghost town (and it seemed to me that this dilapidated state should have been capitalized on as "Ghost World"--that's where I would have chosen to spend my high-priced vacation--but Heffron and his scripters didn't bother). The production design is a bit slicker than it was in Westworld, even if the locations aren't as pleasant (there is no desert--I'm a big fan of deserts). It also looks a bit higher budget, but the impact isn't greater because of the made-for-television feel. Still, Heffron often transcends that limitation, and there are occasional sequences, such as Ballard's dream, which Browning and a handful of technicians vicariously enjoy (it partially involves a nudity-free sex fantasy) from a remote monitor, that are unusual in their surrealism. Much of the dream is as a silent film, and it features a nice cameo from Yul Brynner, who was the chief villain in Westworld. There are also a number of impressive "industrial" sets--full of piping, cables, large machinery and such, in which Heffron sets a number of exciting action sequences, one remarkably prescient of the climax chase in Total Recall (1990). Because of the film's intimate connection with Westworld, it's helpful to make a number of comparisons between the two that help explain how Futureworld holds its own (almost, I only rated it a point lower) to its infamous brother. Both films are largely satirical (in a more formal, less humor-oriented sense of that term), a caricature of many different facets of society, from amusement/recreation to folly, and in the case of Futureworld, more ominous machinations. Delos is a satire of Disney World and similar theme parks, where we can spend leisure time playing roles, fantasizing that we're someone else, in some other time. Whereas Westworld presented its satire of Disney-like escapism on a more surface level, Futureworld is concerned with the reality under the public façade. Westworld presented a few moments of the behind the scenes reality--technicians attending to computers, maintaining robots, fretting about anomalies--but the bulk of Futureworld consists of Browning and Ballard on a figurative journey to the bowels of Hades, where they'll eventually attempt to "unmask" the devil and destroy his perpetration of hedonistic illusion. As it should sound, Futureworld is much more sinister in some ways. Not that Westworld wasn't wonderfully disturbing, but the dilemma in that film arose through relative innocence, with man attempting to better himself and his environment, only discovering too late that his manipulations were backfiring. In Futureworld, the innocence is gone. The Frankenstein-like, God-emulating manipulation of the world has been realized, and through conceit, the powers that be behind Delos figure they can improve not only upon nature, but the artificial control of nature that failed in Westworld, especially utilizing the services of behind the scenes technicians who are now almost exclusively robots. The villainous motivation behind of all this, which extends far beyond Delos, has an attractive grayness. The aim is still to improve the world, but at a cost of human life. But is it? Supposedly, human life is being replaced at the same rate, the replacements ostensibly being identical biologically, except that they have a different set of beliefs. Although the exact mechanism of all of this is a bit vague (as it needs to be--any attempt at a scientific explanation would probably be less plausible then just saying " . . . and then a miracle occurs"), the plot points fueled by the idea broach a number of very interesting philosophical questions. If you haven't seen the film yet, some of what I'm saying will seem itself a bit vague, but I'm purposefully presenting it that way to avoid "giving the film away", while still enabling comments on it. Rest assured that the plot is fairly transparent and easy to follow --this is a good script, and Heffron did a fine job directing it so that it brings up serious issues at the same time it provides more than a fair amount of suspense and touches of humor. A lot of the film succeeds because of good performances from Fonda, Danner and a few others. Fonda and Danner have to effectively play a couple different roles, sometimes making a clear distinction, sometimes purposefully blurring the same, which they accomplish with skill. They also have to undergo a couple somewhat bizarre transformations that aren't explained very well, such as one from rivals to lovers, but somehow they manage to make even that convincing. This is a fine sequel to Westworld. It isn't essential viewing, but Westworld certainly is, and if you've experienced that film, you may as well see what happens next.

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