work by Marc Larch June 20, 2022
For the new season, the series directed by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy transports the viewer back to a total spectacle: dazzling images, complex narrative, heroes full of doubt and violence… Westworld’s (OCS) formula, still radical, continues to captivate.
The most ambitious of the series
It is the return of the heavyweight of the series world, the most ambitious and visually demanding creation of a Hollywood universe, but one that has not been short on complex scenarios and lavish effort in recent times. In its fourth season western world the cheek everything in it and goes even further in the show of force than in previous seasons.
Will the peace between the rebellious hosts and their former masters last?
Before going into the details, we must first go back to where we are with a particularly intricate plot. As the first episode begins, seven years have passed since the Los Angeles riots of 2058 and all the characters, particularly the mysterious Dolores (Rachel Evan Wood), are trying to get their lives back on track. But in the shadows, the Man in Black, the dreadful William (Ed Harris) and the ambitious Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) hatch a plan that could once again upend the world order. While time had separated them, season one’s Westworld park protagonists, and particularly Bernard Lowe (the Imperial Jeffrey Wright), could once again be pitted against each other. The viewer will need a little time to adjust before getting back on track with the narrative, but visually virtuosity is appropriate from the opening minutes as Ed Harris arrives in the middle of an arid desert in a hydraulic dam that owned by a Mexican cartel which he intends to acquire. Also breathtaking are the shots flying over a future metropolis where Dolores lives and works, haunted by her memories and her ability to create new scenarios. And already, we feel like the all-pervasive violence of past seasons still lurks in the shadows, just waiting for a new spark to explode.
Such is the creation of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (also director of reminiscence) is still just as impressive, and in itself embodies a category of hyperseries: colossal devices, formal beauty, a complex narrative that can be read as a discourse about the series itself… In short, the recipe for impressive efficiency hasn’t changed changed, especially since the characters are still so endearing, we’re thinking in particular of Aaron Paul (escaped from breaking Bad), who seems to be one of the few who doesn’t lose his head in a world where standards are exploding, and Thandiwe Newton, a rebel who’s still as noble as ever. Warning, there’s a new guest of greatness this season, it’s Ariana DeBose, the actress who just won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in the remake of Westside Story. Another surprise, the very many fans of the first season may rediscover the original principle of the robot amusement park and even see places they have already visited…
A new boundary between man and machine
Like the original film world west (1973) by Michael Crichton anticipated the invasion of automatons into everyday life and the passion for theme parks, the 2022 series deals with the topic of machine consciousness. And it confronts the viewer with exciting questions: a machine or a “host” how they are called in western world, is it still one if it knows its own identity and wants out of it? And is a human who enjoys killing and raping machines or inventing stories that satisfy those fantasies still human? Or can a machine that deviates from its assigned role be right? As we write this, a Google engineer has just revealed that he’s spoken to the artificial intelligence at the heart of the group’s algorithm, and that it’s now self-aware… OK Google.
western worldSeason 4, in US+24 from June 27th on OCS, available with CANAL+