Film Review: For Better or Worse, ‘Ready Player One’ is Nostalgia at its Purest

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Just in time for Easter, there’s a film filled with enough Easter eggs to drown a small country. “Ready Player One” is a “Where’s Waldo” of mostly 80’s pop culture references that are meant to trigger our (and especially filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s) sentimental, nostalgic cores by bombarding us with reminders of our childhood. These trips down memory lane are fun until they’re not.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

“Ready Player One” offers us a visual buffet, combining the live action excitement of a video game with recognizable visual cues. Unfortunately, this feast doesn’t want us to eat until we are full, but to go past that point and into Jabba the Hut territories of gorging. When every scene becomes an attempt at an iSpy game, the film’s effect turns from being a treat to being overwhelmingly taxing. That’s not to say that every film, game and television reference isn’t fun, but they mostly provide a clever smokescreen meant to keep us preoccupied so that we don’t see how empty and the film’s story really is.

Steven Spielberg’s talent is undeniable. He understands the power of visual mediums and never fails to deliver on that front. In “Ready Player One”, he is able to fully unleash his inner geek onscreen and show us some of the most important influences in his life. In a way, he is a creator of his own OASIS, much like the character Halliday, as he creates these films that are meant to transport you from your own lives. “Ready Player One” is less of a film because it was meant to be an experience. For people old enough to have grown up during the 80’s, this film will offer a way to recap the decade and provide a rabbit hole that will lead you back to your own memories. For the younger viewers, it will be a history lesson and probably help provide a frame of reference for where all the source material for the TV shows and films that are currently being remade originated.

“Ready Player One” opens everywhere on March 29th. Featuring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance, Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, and T.J. Miller. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Ready Player One”

rpo1
Virtual is the new real in ‘Ready Player One’
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Ready Player One”

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker