Ready Player One is directed by the one and only Steven Spielberg. In short, it’s about a contest which determines the future and it takes place in the OASIS, a virtual universe in which anyone can be anyone or anything. It stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe and Mark Rylance.
I have been anticipating this movie since the first teaser dropped so I had high expectations and I was not let down in terms of action scenes, cinematography, music, acting, references and overall how entertaining it was. I was, however, let down with some of the pacing, character development and themes.
I am going to start with the negatives so I can end the review on a positive note. So what’s bad about this movie. Nothing. The only ”bad” things in this movie are some areas which need some work. The pacing in my opinion really suffers. This is ridiculously fast for a movie with a 2-hour 20-minute runtime. This results in basically no character development, except for the main character in a way (it’s a spoiler). The poster shows you five gunters (the good guys who are trying to win) and two of them just get shoved in the plot in the second act and they are there to help the characters if the plot needs them to.
Also, the ending while it’s a satisfactory one and it’s not bad, I can’t help but wonder if it’s flawed because of Spielberg. Notice how in every blockbuster he makes the ending is very predictable, this movie is no exception. I guess it’s more of a nitpick than a flaw, regardless it will leave you feeling nostalgic and satisfied so there’s that. Also near the end, there is a certain button that is introduced just for extra tension and looking back it’s really never mentioned again.
Now with the negatives out of the way, I can say how much fun this movie was! It was a thrill ride from start to finish. I heard great things about the action scenes in this movie and so I anticipated them when the first action scene came on it was pure cinematic action with high doses of jaw-dropping moments and awe-inducing amazement. No, I am not fanboying, the action is truly something special and it needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible and the 3D would increase the experience. The action alone is worth going to buy the most expensive ticket.
The performances are really great, while Sheridan shines as Wade Watts/Parzival, Cooke outshines him in the slightest with her charismatic performance as Art3mis/Samantha. They’re both great and have great chemistry. Can’t wait to see where this movie takes their careers. Mendelsohn is decent as the villain although Hannah John-Kamen‘s character could’ve easily replaced him as the villain if she had more screen time. Waithe’s performance was good although I think if the pacing wasn’t as fast and some scenes focused more on the character, her character would really have her shining moment. Besides the main two characters, the others feel a bit two-dimensional, which is unfortunate since it’s a Spielberg film.
The music by Alan Silvestri, composer of Back to the Future composes a fitting score to a visually stunning movie. The main title from the score is memorable and I would put it up there with Back to the Future’s theme and the others. The musical aspect elevates the movie even higher. Also, I’m glad that they didn’t shower this movie with songs from the ’80s and actually gave space to the score to do its job. Although as I am writing this I am listening to Jump by Van Halen so it was at the right ratio of songs to score.
Visually this movie is beautiful and while it does spend a LOT of time in the CGI fest that is the OASIS, it never bothered me because of how well it was worked on. It looked crisp and it fitted the vibe of the OASIS after all it’s virtual. I went to see this movie in 3D and normally 3D doesn’t really help movies in any way other than money. This movie is an exception. I believe that 3D enhances the movie-watching experience in this case, besides how many times are you going to see all these famous characters in 3D probably never again after this.
To conclude this is an extremely fun movie with fast pacing and it’s fun to see beloved characters pop up here and there. It has a good story and the action scenes are a joy to see. I highly suggest you watch this, no matter the age. As a family movie it sort of fails because there is one scene which could be considered as horror which would bother kids or even parents if they’re not into that kind of thing. Keep this in mind, how many times is a movie like this going to happen?