My enthusiasm for Ready Player One was predicated on the fact that it was an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name. So did this Steven Spielberg helmed flick live up to this expectation?
Well, yes and no.
The main problem may be the fact that too many changes were made from the novel and that was somewhat distracting throughout the film.
Much of the key plot ideas were dumbed down for a mass audience, with the main characters watered down as well for the same reason.
Ironically enough – considering that the driving theme revolved around how the real world was better than the virtual – the best bits of Ready Player One were actually found in the OASIS (the virtual reality software of its world).
The dazzling effects and scores of recognisable pop culture characters provided an overload of Easter egg hunting thrills. Expect an abundance of Youtube videos on this topic alone!
The real life characters were less than interesting with wooden leading man Tye Sheridan (as Wade Watts) the biggest culprit – presumably Sheridan was meant to symbolise the white everyman but can he make a face that does not look constipated? One seriously doubts.
The rest of the cast aren’t much better. Watt’s companions are portrayed by instantly forgettable non-descripts that fail to make any impression, unlike their virtual counterparts.
The relative heavyweights – Rylance Edwards, Simon Pegg, Ben Mendelsohn – try their best but the screenplay never challenges their talents in any meaningful way.
Par for the course for the modern day scifi blockbuster is the pre-eminence of plot holes. Not to mention the whole unnecessary prolongation of emotional tension in the denouement.
Whereas the book operated as a solid story using nostalgic references as a plot device, the movie seems to be an exercise in nostalgia with incoherent plot sequences tacked on.
Without being too spoilery, the manner in which Art3mis is able to make things happen within enemy territory is plain ridiculous! It’s at that point, where the message is clear – turn off your mind and just enjoy the shiny pictures!
… still there’s more …