Being a die hard fan of science fiction and the Western genres, the amalgamation of the two is a dream come true. With a thrilling cinematic feel, a top level cast, and a little taste of where they're headed, this pilot episode of Westworld is one of the best things to hit HBO since the first season of Oz or True Blood. Kicking right off with a brave beginning sequence featuring a nude Evan Rachel Wood among a sterile scientific backdrop, the Home Box Office might finally have another hit on their hands.
After forty years, Michael Crichton's creation is back with a new series. Despite multiple delays and various production issues, the show finally made its grand debut tonight in stunning fashion. Blending hard sci-fi with Western elements, the original programming department at the network had their work cut out for them. Using the baseline story from the classic movie starring Yul Brynner and James Brolin, this new version of Westworld obviously advances and enhances everything the movie couldn't offer fans at the time. Set against two separate backdrops, the old west and the lab, there's a tone and feel that definitely seems like a movie.
Posing questions on technological advancements, singularity, and the human need for absolute escapism, this new take on the Westworld property modernizes many of the same themes from the film while it almost immediately pits creation against its maker. In its first hour many doors were opened, letting viewers know that this isn't going to be a simple show. They layering of characters and the balance between worlds has just begun, giving us a nice intro, enough background, and a small look inside where the show is headed.
Copping much of his brother's look and style, Jonathan Nolan's directorial vision absolutely lends itself to this kind of show. Considering this is only his second time sitting in the director's chair, Westworld episode one is pretty damn great. With a spectacular cast featuring James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, and Rodrigo Santoro, Nolan does not feel out of his depth whatsoever. On a project like this (especially during the first episode), there needs to be a lot of control and pacing to keep the audience enthralled. Nolan delivers on all fronts. Just enough of the mystery is unraveled which in turn keeps us waiting for more.
|I'm sorry. But after Marilyn Manson, you're kinda boooooorrring.|
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