Richard Eder panned the film in The New York Times, quoting Ballard's line from the movie, "This is about as exciting as a visit to the water works. " Coining his own variation on the phrase, Eder also claimed the film is "as much fun as running barefoot on Astroturf. " He added, "It is all the most ordinary kind of hardware science fiction, full of computers and empty of thought. " Writing that Danner and Fonda have "absolutely nothing to do" in the film, he concluded that "starring in Futureworld must be the actor's equivalent of going on welfare. " Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two stars out of four and criticized the "dumb story," although he did think it had "some of the best gadgets since the early James Bond pictures . . . Too bad 'Futureworld' didn't dream up more of these gizmos. " Arthur D. Murphy of Variety wrote, "'Futureworld' shapes up a strong sequel to MGM's 'Westworld' of three years ago . . . Richard T. Heffron, on his second feature directing work, keeps the personal drama moving smartly through the gadgetry montages. " Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called the film "an extreme rarity, a sequel that's a decided improvement over the original. " Gary Arnold of The Washington Post wrote, "Unlike 'Westworld' there's nothing shrewd or compelling behind the events in 'Futureworld,' where the big mystery is just an old wheeze—the managers of the park are power-hungry scientists who clone influential guests and order the clones to dispose of the originals. " John Pym of The Monthly Film Bulletin expressed disappointment that the scriptwriters neglected to explore the interesting implications of self-programming robots and instead "seem content to do little more than lead the players through the standard diversions of a caper movie. "
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