Ready Player One (2018): Film Review
It has been ten years since Steven Spielberg has directed a straight-up, hardcore, action and adventure movie. And it's been even longer since he's directed a straight-up adventure movie that isn't a sequel (his last adventure film was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008). So, when Warner Bros. announced that the acclaimed director would be tackling Ernest Cline's spectacular novel Ready Player One, fans were excited. The king of adventure was coming back, and destined to be better than ever. But, not all fans were excited about this announcement. Some people were worried that Spielberg was out of touch in making adventure films, as it has been so long. Even more, he was attempting to make a film that would be extremely hard to adapt, and keep the major elements of the book. But, the adaption made it to the silver screen, and the verdict is in. While Ready Player One is a little bit too long and doesn't stay loyal to its source material, the film still gives the viewer an entertaining time, and a lot of pop culture nostalgia, which at the end of the day, is more than enough. The film is set in the year 2045, and tells the story of Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a teenager who spends his days and nights in the OASIS, a virtual reality universe that houses all the population in the world. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a set of clues and keys leading to the Easter Egg, giving a trillion dollars and complete control of the system to whoever gets the egg. We follow Wade through his quest to find the egg, which involves heavy competition, real life danger, and so many references to the 1980's. While the film succeeds in some categories, it falls flat in others. The pros first, though. The film is extremely entertaining, and some of the action scenes are golden. During these action scenes, it is impossible to get bored, because they are full out action after action. The 80's references are great, and blend right in with the movie. The point is that they don't feel forced at all. At the end of the day, the movie is fun; which is more than enough for me. Now, the cons. The film is way too long, clocking out at 140 minutes, and by the end of the film, you can't wait for it to just end already. Sheridan's performance is crooked, and the Wade Watts he creates just doesn't work with the tone of the movie. The original score also does not fit the tone of the movie, which ultimately makes the film sound and feel a little bit weird. Finally, the film is unloyal to the novel, in too many ways. I understand changing bits and pieces here and there, but Speilberg created a completely different novel, which was just weird and unnecessary. Ready Player One has many flaws, that's for sure, but it pushes past these and creates an entertaining film that is a landmark in the science-fiction industry, and open the gates for a new genre of films. And that's enough for me.