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

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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”

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