When you see the key words “Nolan,” “sci-fi,” and “artificial people” all tied together, certain expectations come along with them. Throw in any background knowledge on “Westworld” itself — a science fiction film from 1973 about an old west theme park where robots suddenly start killing the paying customers — and you’ve got to be chomping at the bit to see some glossed-up VFX deftly mixed into a world associated with horseback-riding simplicity.
Yet in the first look images for HBO’s upcoming sci-fi thriller, you only get the latter. Three of the four photos look like they could have come from just about any ‘ol western, and the single indoors shot features nothing too shiny or high-tech.
… Or so it seems. Is what’s obvious really all there is to these carefully-selected images? After all, nothing Nolan creates (either brother) is as simple as it first appears. Could these photos hold more secrets than they initially let on, just like the magic tricks Nolan helped construct in “The Prestige”? Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. The first part of each trick — the “Pledge” — is convincing the audience an object is ordinary, shortly before it “Turns” into something extraordinary… Let’s see if we can find those extraordinary elements already (or at least have a little fun trying).
– Clearly James Marsden’s cowboy character is really a robot. I mean, the guy is too good-looking to be taken seriously as a human being. But Evan Rachel Wood’s simple farmhand doesn’t realize it, making a fool of herself while hitting on a malfunctioning “artificial person” who’s about to whip that gun out of his holster and waste her. Yes, that’s right. Our guess is that Evan Rachel Wood is the first casualty of “Westworld.” (9/10 on the Bonkers Meter)
– What’s that you’re looking at, Thandie Newton? Is that a horde of robots on the horizon heading your way? Are they coming to claim your daughter, who’s secretly a robot herself? Will you then be shipped off on a space mission, get impregnated by an alien and meet up with Halle Berry in a mental hospital when no one believes your story? Yup. That’s exactly what’s about to happen. (8/10 on the Bonkers Meter)
– Dressed in black from head to toe, Ed Harris’ character may appear to be a menacing cowboy on the wrong side of the law. But really, he’s an armless half-human, half-robot hybrid trying to strip a fully artificial person for much-needed parts. He’s getting ready to meet up with Thandie — the woman who melted his cold, mechanical heart — but he’s too late. His quest for “normalcy” in this Wild, Wild West took him too far from his home, and his robot daughter will now be raised without the human love she so desperately needs. (7/10 on the Bonkers Meter)
“I’m sorry, sir, but there’s an issue with the park. The robots are revolting.”
“Oh, it can wait until the end of this episode. I’m almost done with ‘Downton Abbey.'”
“Sir, there’s a robot right in front of—”
“Not now, Jeffrey!”
(2/10 on the Bonkers Meter)