Critical Condition: Westworld (S2)

Westworld | SoHo, 1.00/8.30 Monday


➢ “As if we could ever forget. Westworld is an epic robot Western wrapped in multiple timelines and stuffed inside concentric Easter eggs — and its pleasures remain as extensive (and baffling) in season 2, which expands the world with new parks, new faces, new mysteries, and new details about characters that raise new questions … Westworld is enthralling even for those who prefer a passive viewing experience. The sweeping shots of big-sky grandeur! The endlessly creative violence! (Three words: Human railroad crossties.) And the performances.” — Entertainment Weekly.

➢ “Like any self-respecting piece of tech, Westworld is always trying to upgrade itself. The good news is, several glitches and structural issues have been corrected and modestly improved in Westworld 2.0. The operating system is smoother, but the drama’s most insistent claim — or aspiration — is that it has achieved full sentience, or at least a modicum of arresting originality. That remains to be seen. Like an AI that hasn’t quite mastered the messy, glorious, contradictory qualities necessary to being human, this drama’s reach has consistently exceeded its grasp on a thematic and emotional level.” — Variety.

➢ “The second season of HBO’s breakout series Westworld, marked by ambitious twists that lay the groundwork for future seasons while setting up a strong female empowerment storyline, still isn’t likely to convince those who were on the fence for season one to jump on the bandwagon. But on the basis of five episodes, the intriguing groundwork it lays for the future should more than satisfy fans from the first go-round. It might even hook newbies who wander into the genre-bending drama for a peek at what all the fuss is about.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “Everyone loves a puzzle, but Westworld has discovered a base of fans who delight in its torturing gamesmanship, which serves its view of life in the state of nature as nasty, brutish, and punishingly long. The faithful seem not to mind unpacking a story to reveal, mostly, more stories, as opposed to insights or lyrical wonders.” — The New Yorker.

➢ “This second series begins with the theme park of the title in bloody disarray, the android hosts having taken over and massacred most of the human guests, guards, scientists and execs working for Delos, the corporation running the park … It’s every bit as portentous and enigmatic as the first season, with enough humour and self-awareness to avoid pomposity. With the destination a mystery, perspectives and sympathies shift and the send eof mounting horror is expertly handled. Absolutely gripping.” — The Times.

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