We go into the Oasis to see what Steven Spielberg’s latest sci-fi action flick really has to offer… First Look: ready player one review by Jamie White.
I’m sure there’s a lot to like about READY PLAYER ONE. The adrenaline pumping action scenes, the unique and intriguing concept about virtual reality video gaming, the discourse it has about our current culture and gaming. The skepticism about how advanced technology can just take over our lives, and even give us an outlet to create a new life. I, however, did NOT enjoy this. At all.
You may hear that a producer will only read the first 10-20 pages of a script – all the busy people we would be pitching to, rely on a great first ten pages to convince them a script is worth reading. This script would not (or should not have) made the cut.
The constant, highly expository voice-overs from the main characters, lazily doing the heavy lifting (the world building). It was infuriating. And oh boy did the voice-over not end there. Dear God… I could go on and on about how the script let this film down, but I’m sure I won’t waste too much of your time, so here’s a quick list.
- That exposition throughout the first ten minutes. Then when the title card finally hit I thought “Oh thank ****! The actual film can start.” What was the first thing you hear next? That’s right – another voice-over. Man, oh man, did they overuse voice-overs in this film.
- The dialogue was incredibly cringey. Anyone could’ve written the dialogue for this.
- Certain “twists” or reveals were uninspiring and predictable. (People’s real-life identities, for example).
- There was no sense of time in this film – it really felt like everything happened within 2-3 hours.
- Character relationships were rushed, and, you guessed t, incredibly conventional and stereotypical. The romantic subplot advanced to “I love you” within 5 interactions between the love interests. I mean, c’mon.
I’ll stop there before I get too frustrated, but I do just want to add on one small thing. This film was set in 2040, but there was nothing to suggest that (other than the massive virtual reality world). Every reference or cameo was to something that was made over 20 years prior. Anything from Overwatch to Sonic to Asteroids was used – but we didn’t get any notion of what 2040 pop culture was like. Maybe it’s a criticism of the huge focus on franchises, but it still felt very jarring. As was the very 80s centric soundtrack – I get why they went that route, but it felt so wrong – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY pulled it off perfectly, READY PLAYER ONE did not. If you wanna have the 80s culture play such an integral part have the protagonist be an 80s freak – it otherwise just felt out of place.
Phew! OK, so there’s my little rant. I didn’t wholly dislike the film, but there was much in there that took me out of the experience, and that’s what killed it for me.
What did you think of READY PLAYER ONE? I hope you enjoyed more than I did!