Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One gets rave reviews
Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One seems to be the late career reinvention that few people saw coming for the Academy Award-winning filmmaker.
At 71 years old, Spielberg remains busy as ever with his second movie release in just three months (Oscar bait The Post opened in the US in January), but both come during a period where Spielberg has oft been criticised for playing it safe. That's definitely not the case with Ready Player One.
This adaptation of Ernest Cline's science fiction novel is a thrill ride through some of the biggest franchises in pop-culture and the burgeoning Virtual Reality art form, making it Spielberg's most visually-impressive spectacle in decades.
It's also impressive and engaging on a thematic level, according to the first batch of critical reviews. Below, Digital Spy samples what the critics are saying about Ready Player One.
«Mixing wild CG action scenes with gentle humour and an uplifting storyline about friendship, love, and not wasting your life playing computer games and watching '80s movies, Ready Player One is a heart-swelling experience. Slightly over-long at 2hrs 20mins (Spielberg is rarely brief), it's completely engaging even though it's pretty obvious where the narrative is going.
«The references are nice (including a nifty The Shining sequence) but far from being a fan-boy self-indulgence, RP1 is a movie for everyone, itself a perfect Oasis of escapism against our own grim reality. It's what Spielberg does best.»
«When you're watching Ready Player One, you can almost feel the legendary director sitting next to you, laughing at the references, thrilled with the action, and eating his popcorn. You definitely need popcorn for this one.»
«A rollicking adventure through worlds both bleak and fantastic, Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One makes big changes to the specifics and structure of Ernest Cline's best-selling novel but keeps the spirit and level-up thrills intact.»
«It does not exist to stretch your mind (it does stretch your time, running a bit too long in the third act) but the OASIS, it's a wonderful piece of escapism. Sometimes, a vacation from anything meaningful does make for an interesting ride.»
Den of Geek
«The adaptation of the Ernest Cline novel is a supremely entertaining crowd-pleaser, and a film that brings something to the table everyone should be wistful for: that classic Spielberg touch.»
«Spielberg gets his game face on with spectacular results. One extended scene — no spoilers! — is as fun as cinema gets.»
«It is without question the most entertaining film Spielberg has made since Catch Me If You Can.»
«Spielberg's adaptation of Ernest Cline's book imagines a futuristic virtual world that's thrilling to watch even as it draws on familiar reference points.»
Not all of the reviews were glowing. A few felt Ready Player One was a case of style over substance:
«It's disheartening that the finished product is little more than the cinematic equivalent of a pop culture mashup tee, which takes cherished icons of film and coats them in garish CGI while clumsily smashing them against one another a child playing with action figures.»
«There is a heart beating at the center of The Goonies, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more-but in Ready Player One, audiences will instead find a gleaming, digital, golden Easter egg… for many, that will be enough.»
«Ready Player One is set in a dilapidated future where fantasy rules because reality looks hellish by comparison. Yet the movie puts you in a different mindset. By the end, you're more than ready to escape from all the escapism.»
«While the movie is visually whimsical with its design and neon colors, the weakness of the source material still pokes out.»
Ready Player One opens in the UK and the US on March 29. Watch a trailer below:
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