Westworld, HBO, Premiered 2016
Created by: Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jimmi Simpson Tessa Thompson Angela Sarafyan Rodrigo Santoro, Simon Quarterman, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Luke Hemsworth, Clifton Collins Jr, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ben Barnes, Jeffrey, Wright, James Marsden, Shannon Woodward, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins
Reviewed by Xavier Emaka
This has to be one of the best series to come out of HBO not just in 2016 but of all time.
Westworld was a story written by Michael Crichton, the same one who wrote Jurassic park. For a long time there had been talks of an adaptation but nothing had come of it until recently. This series was made with some of the movie industry’s biggest names; Jonathan Nolan, Anthony Hopkins, Luke Hemsworth, Evan Rachel Wood, and with a score by Ramin Djawadi, HBO went all out to make this series and it paid off.
How do you know you’re alive? How do you know the world you’re living in is real?
Those are the questions Dolores is asked as the series begins. Dolores is a machine in the theme park called Westworld. She plays the role of a country cowgirl who lives with her father. An old flame has just returned and they want to get back to where they left off. Unknown to her, her old flame and all the”residents” of Westworld are androids and people come seeking pleasure which they can only get in a world where they can do anything they want, even kill. The androids at Westworld are maintained by Bernard and Ford (Anthony Hopkins).
A problem occurs in one of the robots, Dolores’s father, when he finds a picture of the outside world. He begins to develop “buggy behavior” and an investigation reveals that some of the machines are developing actions that go outside their normal programming.
Ford is the founder of the park and so has a lot of freedom in its operation, but his expenditure to create a new narrative catches the attention of the current CEO, who tries to uncover what Ford’s plans are as well as why the androids “malfunctioning”.
The series delves into themes of reality, perception of reality, and the existence of god and free will. The Matrix was a movie that also looked at these topics, but not to the level that Westworld does.
The cast is star-studded, but the script and acting are done so well that none steals the shine of the others. Thandie Newton and Evan Rachel Wood stand out with their performances, earning them some awards, but Sir Anthony Hopkins is also a pleasure to watch.
With a budget of $10 million per episode and one of the producers of Interstellar working on this, you can be sure the CGI is as good as it gets. Ramin Djawadi also produces unforgettable scores for it and the soundtrack will definitely be looked for.
Look out for this one it’s worth every penny.
Check out some Westworld quotes as well.