Last night’s Westworld debut was a bowl of satisfaction. Richer, spookier, more complex than the 1973 Michael Crichton film. The Groundhog Day repetition element is brilliant, and then Evan Rachel Wood finally swats the fly…perfect. It was just one episode (and yes, I’ve heard the quality doesn’t sustain) but right away it felt like a 2016 BMW compared to Crichton’s ’73 Chevy Nova. A better thing texturally, thematically, technically, acting-wise.
Crichton told the tale from the vantage point of visiting tourists (James Brolin, Richard Benjamin) — HBO co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have smartly reversed this scheme. Those poor androids are weeping inside, anguished and confused and yet starting to quietly contemplate the murder of their creator (Anthony Hopkins). Hopkins’ death, trust me, is going to be quite gruesome.
I had an idea before watching last night that Ed Harris would be playing Yul Brynner…nope. It’s also interesting that the droids have been programmed to interact with each other on their own time with no visitors in sight.
And what’s with the milk obsession? Vats of thick, milk-like gloop in the laboratory, milk pouring out of androids through bullet holes, milk being chugged from bottles.