8 June 2004 | Poseidon-3
In this infamously unnecessary (and inferior) sequel to "Westworld", Fonda and Danner play hotshot reporters invited to Delos, a fantastic (and fantastically expensive) amusement park. They are brought there, ostensibly, to relay to the public the vast changes made to the park since an unfortunate mishap a few years earlier (in which 50 people were killed!) In actuality, Fonda is there to look into the murder of a man who warned him about evil doings there, but there's still another reason that the duo was invited. The executives of the park have them in mind as part of a bigger master plan! The park is actually made up of four "worlds" with another one in the works. The reporters go to Futureworld where they are promised such exciting activities as skiing the Martian slopes (which turns out to be regular snow shot through a red gel) and riding an asteroid (?! How exactly would one do that and how could it be considered remotely entertaining?) There are a few neat gimmicky treats at Futureworld such as a chess game with holographic pieces that really move and actually take each other out of the game violently and a boxing game in which glove-like handles control the arms of two real-looking pugilists in satin shorts. However, Fonda and Danner aren't really there long enough to enjoy much more of it (and only fleeting - and boring - shots are ever shown of the other worlds.) The reporters wind up staying in a sort of dormitory, sneaking out and around whenever possible to find the real story behind the place. On one guided tour, Danner is induced into having a dream which can then be presented in video format. This is the low point of the film (or high point if one is a camp lover!) as Danner drifts around in chiffon and fake hair while Brynner (a memorable villain in the first film) pursues her all over the place. Eventually, he wards off other attackers and does a tacky, fog-shrouded dance with her and kisses her. Wow..... This is all there is to his appearance! What a rip off. Almost from the start, the film is mindless and tedious, but as it goes along, it gets more and more illogical. Just one of the many nagging questions is this: WHY, in a place where every single thing is monitored continually, are Fonda and Danner able to skulk around in highly restricted areas, flipping on lights and making noise THROUGHOUT the movie? It's ridiculous. There are two fairly decent supporting performances from Hill as an administrator and Margolin as a helpful repairman. Most of the other acting is abysmal. The leads are out of their element and share very limited chemistry. It matters little anyway because the film is so wrong-headed 90% of the time. Even though this cost more than "Westworld", it looks cheaper, with cruddy lighting, unimaginative direction and the space costuming being a particularly glaring miscalculation. Also, any potential surprise about the nature of Delos is completely spoiled during the opening credits. Skip it.