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Bridging The Gap
Ready Player One review – Spielberg's shiny VR caper isn't worth playing.
  Tuesday 13 March, 2018
Ready Player One review – Spielberg\'s shiny VR caper isn\'t worth playing.

Flashy adaptation of the book is full of pop culture references and striking visuals but a thin plot and shallow characters

ith the help of Van Halen’s Jump, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One launches its video game adventure story at full speed. The year is 2045; the place is Columbus, Ohio. Our hero, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), fills in the details while climbing past his grungy homes of his town, “the stacks,” where trailer parks are piled on top of each other sky-high. Things are so miserable in Wade’s world, everyone escapes to play in an immersive virtual reality game known as the Oasis. Its Steve Jobs-like founder, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) is worshipped like a god until his death some years before. However, before he left the mortal world, the benevolent creator left behind a series of games that would reward the winner with the Willie Wonka-like prize of the keys to his virtual kingdom.

That’s a lot of story to race through in two hours and 20 minutes, but Spielberg paces his movie to fly past the film’s explanations of events as quickly as possible. The conflict is straightforward and simple: our hero and his friends must outplay the corporate bad guys led by Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) and beat him to the three keys that would control the game. Some scenes are just too bloated with with trivia to have any real weight. The information isn’t given in a casual, conversational way, but in a pretentious manner, as if they’re trying to impress you with minutiae.

The Ernest Cline novel on which its based on is perhaps best known for its many pop culture references. The film follows suit with a soundtrack filled with an upbeat selection of greatest hits from the 80s, with a few interlopers from the 70s. The deepest cut is perhaps Prince’s I Wanna Be Your Lover, but the rest are songs you likely know the lyrics to. It’s tragic that all history of pop culture post-1989 seems to have been lost, but anyone who remembers the 80s may feel nostalgic spotting artifacts from their past. A DeLorean! There’s Batman! That’s the … Holy Hand Grenade? There’s even a few nods to Spielberg’s movies, like when a T-Rex chases a car in Jurassic Park. It’s easy to get distracted by these cameos on the edge of the story.






source:https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/mar/12/ready-player-one-review-spielbergs-shiny-vr-caper-isnt-worth-playing

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