“The Original” runs close to 75 minutes, and needs nearly every minute of that running time to properly introduce its sprawling cast of characters(*), explain how the park works — and the ways in which it’s beginning to not work — and begin laying out the underlying themes of the world that interest Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. The repetitive nature of the lives of the robotic “hosts” — basically, a Groundhog Day told from the point of view of one of the Punxsutawney residents who are oblivious to the time loop — is important to the story Nolan and Joy are telling, and require additional time to properly establish here at the beginning, but it makes the premiere something of a slog, and a deliberately disorienting one.
Review: Did the ‘Westworld’ premiere live up to expectations?
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