This article contains spoilers
“Ready Player One,” the debut book of author Ernest Cline, was an instant hit with readers of all ages.
Not only did it bring back great memories of the 80s for adults but also included references that kids could understand as well. Although some cried out against the heavy emphasis of nostalgia the book had, it didn’t stop many fans from shrieking in delight at the news that their favorite book was going to be made into a movie by Steven Spielberg. With “Ready Player One” recently released, the question on everyone’s mind has been if the movie is as good as the book. The answer, not so much.
One of the movie’s biggest negatives is the almost nauseating amount of references it has to pop culture from the 80s to now. From as far as the eye can see there are easter eggs everywhere, and while some are more pushed back into the background, others are screaming for the audience’s attention, which is when the movie is at its worst.
When viewers are forced to recognize that there’s a reference that they should be aware of, it detracts from the movie as a whole. This becomes especially annoying when the movie’s protagonists are just rambling about things they know about the pop culture, boring viewers quickly.
Adding onto this is the fact that the majority of the characters in “Ready Player One” are very bland and annoying. The main protagonist Wade Watts is an irredeemable, self-absorbed person that the movie attempts at making audiences cheer for but ultimately fails in doing so. This probably has to do more with the writing and source material than Tye Sheridan, who played Watts, having done the role of annoying jerk pretty well. Most of the other characters, like Watts, are as likable as eating a rotten egg. The plot is also extremely mundane and predictable, which in turn hurts character development since the audience is not invested in the progression of the heroes that they should be interested in.
There are some positives to this bore of a movie. For one, the world of the OASIS, the virtual reality this movie takes place in, is amazing to look at. It’s fantastical and makes the idea that someone would want to spend their entire day inside the OASIS realistic. The amazing cinematography in the OASIS is capable of drawing audiences in despite the obvious drawbacks of the overall film. Also, not all of the characters are without merit, with Lena Waithe as Helen/Ache, Watts’s best friend, and Ben Mendelsohn as Nolan Sorrento, the CEO of the IOI and the main antagonist, being noticeable exceptions.
Aside from these few shining moments, “Ready Player One” somehow manages to make watching paint dry a more favorable alternative. What it makes up in cinematography, it lacks in plot, character development and likability of the protagonists. There’s also the fact that this movie’s approach is that of shoving every possible reference and easter egg they could think of into viewers’ faces. In the end, “Ready Player One” audiences will be left disappointed that they wasted money on such a mess of a movie.
- Cinematography was amazing
- Poor character development
- Boring plotlines
- Unlikeable characters
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures