Thumbs up or thumbs down? Simple, spoiler free reviews.
Ready Player One is a 2018 science fiction adventure film from Steven Spielberg based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name. It stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn and Mark Rylance.
In 2045 the world is on the brink of collapse. Yet people have found salvation in the OASIS, a virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday in which anything is possible. When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere within the game. When Wade Watts decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.
Ready Player One is one of those films that just totally proved me wrong. Having seen the trailers, I didn’t think much of it. Actually I thought it looked pretty awful and if I’m honest with you, expected a disaster.
However it gives me great pleasure to admit that this film was instead entertaining and very enjoyable. In fact it was surprisingly heartfelt and endearing. It’s a non-stop nostalgic filled ride, that while it does have problems, such as the characters being undeveloped or why couldn’t other people have figured out certain clues which seem really obvious, it isn’t until afterwards that you think about them. I found myself completely distracted by this big, dumb and fun adventure flick.
I will admit to thinking the romance in this film was off though. We never really reason for the two leads to earn or even justify their feelings. It felt a little forced and silly. Meanwhile I thought the sexy avatar of Art3mis saying that Parzival wouldn’t like her in the real word, was rather daft when she turns out to be a super cute girl with a birth mark. I’m sure he’ll be fine…
A big plus for any CGI heavy film is that it also looks great, especially during certain scenes such as the race scenes which is quite excellent. The end battle scenes are packed with references and characters from every aspect of recent gaming and film culture. It was awesome to see them all fighting it out.
I also enjoyed Ben Mendelsohn as the villain, he has the ‘evil corporate/authority figure’ market covered between this and his role as Orson Krennic in Rogue One. Here you see him attempting to be seen as ‘cool’ by having an earpiece feeding to an entire team of pop culture experts to get him to say the right things. It’s a brilliant metaphor for huge corporations claiming to have their finger on the pulse.
Overall I found Ready Player One to be a very enjoyable popcorn munching adventure film. Which again surprised me, proof that you can’t always judge a film by the impression you get from the trailers.