#MovieReviewMondays: "Ready Player One"
“Ready Player One” was directed by Stephen Spielberg and is based on the
book of the same name by Ernest Cline. The film is set in Ohio in the year 2045
and follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) as he explores the OASIS, a massive
virtual reality game where anything can become reality, in the hopes of finding a
hidden item that would grant him full ownership of the virtual universe.
Spielberg’s latest effort is extravagant, massive in scale, exciting, nostalgic,
but it is also a complete mess.
First let’s get into the film’s positives. The primary motivating factor that
keeps this film in place is its action. The multiple “in-game” action sequences are grand in scale and execution. Although most of it is animated, it proves the talent
and dedication of those working on the film.
Another thing this film does well is setting up the world. The future United
States has grown exponentially, and the OASIS puts fictional reality to shame.
Every character and location is intricately designed, and the animation gives it a
distinct video game style, making moviegoers dream of a reality in which this
With pitch-perfect use of special effects, the nostalgic factor is a sight to
behold. With hundreds of pop culture references making their way onscreen, very
few of them feel forced or out of place.
Now on too the messy stuff. First and foremost, “Ready Player One” has
some of the worst, blandest acting in a Spielberg film to date. The only star who appears to be taking his role seriously is Ben Mendelsohn. Sheridan, along with
almost everyone else give monotone, expressionless performances, both in the real
world as well as in the OASIS, where all they need to do is voice their avatars!
This film also suffers from a poor screenplay. The script does absolutely
nothing to push character development and gives little spotlight to the talented
supporting cast. And adding to the blandness, the dialogue is tasteless, and
exposition overexplains everything and is far too abundant. If there is one thing the
screenplay does right, it is the consistent pacing.
Even with extravagant races and battle sequences and a jaw-dropping virtual
world, Spielberg wasn’t able to save the source material from mediocrity. If action or nostalgia is what you’re looking for, then I would definitely recommend it, but its poor execution may leave many viewers disappointed.