By Brennan Atkins &
“Ready Player One” is the newest film by legendary director Steven Spielberg and is an adaptation of the young adult novel written by Ernest Cline. It features Tye Sheridan as Wade Watts, Olivia Cooke as Samantha, Ben Mendelsohn as Serrento and Mark Rylance as James Halliday.
The strongest aspects of this movie are, without a doubt, the visuals and color palette. They jam a lot of different characters from different franchises into the film, yet it doesn’t feel too cluttered. This isn’t to say that all scenes are like this, as there are some moments where things look so out of place it takes you out of the moment.
The colors in the virtual world known as the Oasis are filled with neon blue and bright red and really bring out an ’80s aesthetic. It contrasts well with the dull dystopian colors that the real world has to offer. This is a good use of color because audiences are easily able to distinguish the real world from the virtual one.
Unfortunately, these are the only strong positives the movie has to offer. The rest is disappointing, as it was an ambitious adaptation of a book many people seemed to enjoy.
The characters in this movie are more one-dimensional than some of the iconic cameos you see in the movie. They are overused clichés. You have the stereotypical anti-social hero, greedy corporate executive, mysterious romantic interest and a couple of nerdy side characters who do nothing to further the plot.
The only person who really stood out was the creator of the Oasis, and while he wasn’t in the movie for very long, he had a somewhat interesting story.
The performances are lackluster at best, and there are moments where it just feels awkward. There are times where they should be displaying a lot more emotion than they actually are.
While plot and writing are arguably the most important elements of a film, “Ready Player One” failed spectacularly on both these fronts. The world built in this movie is paper-thin, and it offers an insane volume of plot holes, to the point where we’re asking more questions than we’re getting answers.
Instead of force-feeding us the latest gaming trends, show us more of your world – how it works and what it has to offer.
It is hard to say who this film’s target audience is because there are references that just don’t mix well at all. You’ll have references about movies and culture from the ’80s, but then throw in characters from modern gaming franchises such as “Overwatch.”
The plot itself seems lazy, and you can tell that they played it very safe. The movie had no plot twists or any surprises, and it comes off as extremely predictable.
It’s hard to believe this is from the mastermind behind such films as “Terminator” and “Jaws.” If you generally enjoy gaming and pop culture, you might find some enjoyment in this film, but don’t go in thinking that you’re going to be heavily invested in the world.
Grade: C, “Ready Player One” isn’t an Iron Giant, but at least he’s in it.