So, a new film’s just come out and it’s already gained a reputation for just being a film about references and not having anything else to it. Well. I’m here to tell you, that’s wrong.
First however, a disclaimer, if you were expecting a page-by-page adaptation of the book then you will be sorely disappointed. Fans of the book should go into this with an open mind and expecting a few (major and minor) things to change, if you’re a massive fan and it’s your favourite book, you should probably stay away. Saying that, the film doesn’t change anything too major and the main story and characters stay the same.
I’ll start with the pros. This film is very very enjoyable. The characters are likeable, the plot is engaging, the humour works and the references add to the film rather than just providing a distraction.
The acting in this film is also fantastic, which is to be expected from a Spielberg vehicle. Ben Mendelsohn (playing bad-guy Nolan Sorrento) gives a sinister yet charming performance as the main villain of the piece. He was so good in the role that at times I thought to myself that maybe he was the person in the right. Not only that but the younger actors in this film such as Tye Sheridan (playing Wade/Parzival) and Olivia Cooke (playing Samantha/Art3mis) gave mature performances and were really engaging as the main protagonists.
Visuals. The main focus and pro of this film is the visuals, it has to be with this kind of world. Steven Spielberg delivers a spectacle. A film that will let you sit there and be drawn in every single time. Not only with the amount of Easter eggs and references that you’ll spot on each viewing but with the locations both in the OASIS (the virtual world) and in ‘real world’ America. One thing that I loved the most was seeing all of these different genres and worlds collide all at once, especially in one incredible set-piece during the second task.
However, there are some cons.
Like mentioned before, fans of the book may be annoyed at some of the changes made for the film. I’m not a huge fan but I did notice the changes that were made, and I can see why some people would be annoyed. But, like i said, if you’re willing to accept changes then you’ll enjoy it just fine (and you’ll be able to show off your book knowledge to your friends by annoying them about what changes were made).
And the other con may also only apply to a small amount of people, but it is the fact that there are just so many references to different aspects of pop culture. This is fine if you’re expecting it and you don’t mind these kinds of things but be warned, there really is at least 10 different references in almost every single scene. Especially those set inside the OASIS.
So there you have it, Ready Player One, arguably Spielberg’s most anticipated film since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (except this time he delivers). It’s thoroughly enjoyable and contains so many Easter eggs that you’ll keep going back to it just to see what you’ve missed.
If the opening few bars of Jump by Van Halen didn’t used to give you a nostalgic feel, it will now.
Ready Player One: 4/5