Friday, March 30, 2018
"Ready Player One" Review by Tim Hellman
'READY PLAYER ONE': Four Stars (Out of Five)
The new sci-fi adventure from director Steven Spielberg, and based on the book (of the same name) by Ernest Cline. The film is set in a future where virtual reality is commonly used to escape the depression of the real world. A very skilled teenager competes to win control over the virtual universe, with the help of his new friends, while an evil businessman desperately tries to win control over it too. The movie was scripted by Cline and Zak Penn (who also co-wrote such other blockbuster sci-fi flicks as 'THE AVENGERS', 'THE INCREDIBLE HULK', 'X-MEN 2', 'X-MEN: THE LAST STAND' and 'LAST ACTION HERO'). It stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance. The film has received mostly positive reviews from critics, and it's also expected to be a hit at the Box Office as well. I mostly enjoyed it, but I also wasn't overly thrilled.
The story is set in the year 2044, when most of the planet's population lives in poverty. They escape depression by doing most of their daily activities in a virtual reality world, called the OASIS. In this world they can be whoever they want to be, but when their avatar dies they lose everything they have, and they have to start over with nothing. The creator of OASIS, the late James Halliday (Rylance), has left behind a game challenge, in which the winner gains complete control over the virtual reality world. A corrupt businessman, named Nolan Sorrento(Mendelsohn), will do anything to win control. A teenager named Wade Watts (Sheridan), and his new rebel ally friends, will do anything to stop him.
The movie has elements of classic Spielberg adventure films in it, but it also lacks a lot of the heart and magic that made those movies so special. Spielberg tries to recapture those strengths in this film, but he's just not able to ever do it. The effects are pretty cool, but they also make the world and characters of the movie seem very distant. The characters also don't seem very developed or truly relatable. Still, technically speaking, the movie is pretty visually flawless , and it's also a lot of fun to see all of these classic movie and video game characters in one film together (but you get that just from watching the trailer). The third act is also really long and uninvolving for the most part too. I liked the film overall, to an extent, but it definitely doesn't live up to Spielberg's greatest work.