Director: Michael Crichton
Year Released: 1973
In the future, instead of going to the Grand Canyon or Paris on vacation people can go to recreated past times occupied by human-like androids - the two main characters (James Brolin and soon-to-be filmmaker Richard Benjamin) decide to explore their inner Steve McQueen in the cowboy-infested Westworld, while I, personally, would have had a hard time not choosing the unbearably sleazy 24-hour-a-day orgy that is Romanworld. Nonetheless, what starts off as an ingenious concept - that is, the moral implications of designing a 'vacation' to relieve primal sensations such as bloodlust and sexual desire; a hyper-real 'video game' with all too real cyborg 'others' and virtual 'invincibility' - is just glanced over and the motivations and histories of the characters are never fully explored. It's as if Crichton was afraid of making this anything more than a sci-fi/action movie - in which the man-made creations turn on their creators - which is all right I suppose, but the shooting and chasing of the last act can't help but seem like a cop-out. Yul Brenner is admittedly ominous as the vengeful 'Gunslinger.'