READY PLAYER ONE
Ready Player One is the worst Spielberg film since “The Mission” (the rarely seen 1985 45 minute short for ‘Amazing Stories’). And in “The Mission”, some crazy person in a World War 2 plane draws an imaginary set of wheels that magically appear so the plane can land.
As one of the greatest film directors in history, Spielberg has set the bar high. Sure, this is better than anything Uwe Boll has made. But then again, any episode of “EastEnders” is better than anything that Uwe Boll has made. But “Ready Player One” is one of the worst films I have seen in a long, long time.
It has no heart. It has no soul. It has a set of popculture references like a goddamn checklist and its going to get all of them, from Chucky, to Duran Duran, to The Shining, to The Iron Giant, to Big Trac, to even self-referential elements like Back To The Future, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and Minority Report. It was like looking in a hall of ugly mirrors all pointed to a rose tinted past ; a cinematic version of “Being John Malkovich”.
Cinematically, the film has one of the most broken narratives I have ever encountered. It’s like someone wrote a film around the number of intellectual properties they could shoehorn in, and instead of wondering how they could tell this story, wondered how they could make a story from all of these random elements : how can you shove Jason Vorhees, Chucky, Freddy Kreuger, The Iron Giant, Rush, Wonder Woman, Alien/Aliens, Silent Running, Superman, Gundam, MechZilla, Joy Division, New Order, Dune, Atari 2600, Batman, The Joker, Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan, Tron, King Kong, The Last Action Hero, Marv The Martian, Star Wars, “War of The Worlds”, Rosebud, Buckeroo Banzai, Battletoads, Goldeneye for the N64, John Hughes, Troma Movies, into a movie, and somehow make sense of it all? You can’t. Especially when you take the characters and make them do horiffic things that completely stand at odds with – and openly piss in the mouth of – the characters and the meaning they had.
Ready Player One is utterly tone deaf, completely abusive of the original films it slavishly copies, and has a stupid Old Father Time 'reality is so real dudes' anti-Internet message from a 72 year old who is a bit out of touch with what its like to be under the age of 50. It’s a complete bag of wank.
I hated it. Hated it, hated it, hated it. It overrode every piece of narrative sense to shoehorn another illfitting thing you used to like more than you like this. It's achingly retro, outdated cultural references seem embedded in the idea that the only good things ever were made from 1973-1983, and all that, utter Grandad Nostalgia, and well, you wait until the get to the Second Challenge.
The Second Challenge was utterly idiotic and at odds with the entire premise of the film it referred to. It was artistic vandalism. That film was not created to be a video game level hunt and kill.
The characters in this are all wearing retro T-shirts from bands 70 years prior. That’d be like me being into Jules Fucking Verne and Enrico Caruso. It’s utterly unrealistic.
Remember the last words of The Iron Giant? "I Am Not A Gun." Not anymore. The Iron Giants words are “Lasers and Bombs, Yay.”
This film is utterly myopic, narratively incoherent, and a useless circle jerk of pop culture references that serve only to remind you that this director has made much, much better films than this completely redundant, late period, catastrophically bad piece of insular crap.
I have written smarter shopping lists.