Friday, November 25, 2011

Futureworld (1976)

Director: Richard T. Heffron

Staring: Peter Fonda, Blythe Danner, Arthur Hill, Yul Brynner, John P. Ryan, Stuart Margolin

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Is this you...or are You you?

Plot: It has been several years since the disaster at the Delos resort (events of "Westworld"), and Delos is ready to reopen, replacing Westworld with the new "Futureworld," which is getting rave reviews. However, one of Delos's most famous critics, reporter Chuck Browning, is still not convinced that Delos has cleaned up its act, especially after an informant with inside information about Delos is murdered. Chuck teams up with fellow reporter Tracy Ballard and goes to Delos to find out why his source was killed. What they discover is beyond any of their imaginations.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.

I'll get my bitching out of the way. Yul Brenner's name is all over the posters. Hell, it's even encased in a box! His character (who played so prominately in the first film) only exists for about a minute in someone's dream AND he doesn't kill anyone. No fair. The other gripe I've got is that we get very little that made the first picture so much fun and that's playtime in the different parks, specifically the newest addition, Futureworld. All we get is a bumpy ride into outer space, fart around in the space lounge and go skiing on Mars which is nothing more than real skiing but seen through a red filter. Really, that's it? Everything else is essentially a thriller with the reporters trying to find out what's really going on.

The story itself is pretty good. I actually think this is a good follow-up to the first film but whatever you liked about WESTWORLD you're going to find missing in FUTUREWORLD. That's either a plus or a minus depending on how you viewed WESTWORLD. Peter Fonda is tolerable (I'm still not convinced he's a good actor) and Danner is fine but, for me, it's the inclusion of Stuart Margolin (he's probably best known for playing Angel on THE ROCKFORD FILES) that made it more fun for me. I really dig this gut. The climax has one of those 'are they or aren't they' moments which was really nice. Whether or not you dig this hinges on how much you like the lead actors and how little you liked the first film.

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