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Review – Ready Player One: Spielberg’s Love Letter To Film Greats

‘Ready Player One’

  • Directed by: Steven Spielberg
  • Written by: Zak Penn and Ernest Cline
  • Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Lena Waithe, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, and Ben Mendelsohn.

Set in 2045, ‘Ready Player One’ sees a world where virtual reality has become humanity’s biggest time-spender. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere as your avatar, who can also be whatever you want it to be. Despite being set in future, there’s definitely similarities to the present day there.

Jumping right into the world of the OASIS is a spectacle. The immense design, CGI, and level of detail that has gone into the making of the virtual universe is enough to make you watch wide-mouthed and in envy of such a place existing.

Ultimately, ‘Ready Player One’ is a love letter to cinema, with references and appearances from some of the greatest movie characters scattered throughout. Seeing the Back to the Future car drive across a visualised London whilst being chased by King Kong is increasingly fun, but the novelty of seeing film greats make casual appearances does soon wears a little thin as the film rolls on.

‘Ready Player One’ is best described as Avatar-meets-Tron-meets-Wreck-it Ralph, if you can imagine such a thing. It’s a movie made for the fan boys, directed by the ultimate fan boy himself. It’s full of nostalgia; from the 80s-driven soundtrack to the subtle (and some not-so-subtle) references, this is Spielberg at his most fun. Having steered away from the Blockbuster-esque movies he started in the 70s, it’s great to see that Spielberg has still got it.

An adaptation of Ernest Cline’s book of the same name, ‘Ready Player One’ is a race to the finish line and it feels just like that whilst watching it too. The just-over two hours speed right by as you watch the fun and frolics go by. Inspired casting (Lena Waithe steals the show) alongside stunning graphics and cinematography make it a delight to watch and, despite being set in a futuristic virtual reality universe, really has the feels of an 80s Spielberg movie.

It’s just unfortunate that a film that is so focused on a nation obsessed with playing with the mechanics of a virtual reality game, as opposed to living in the real world, doesn’t actually provide any social commentary or repercussions for gaming addiction. As it’s something that is becoming the norm in real life, it does leave a bit of a sour taste to see it glorified so much and, almost, even encouraged. In fact, it’s only mentioned once and it’s done in such a cliche that it’s made redundant.

Either way, ‘Ready Player One’ is not to be taken seriously. Sit back, relax, and enjoy as the fun film takes you from level to level across galaxies, superheroes, easter eggs, and key findings.

From Warner Bros. Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures, ‘Ready Player One’ is now available to buy on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.

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