This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Evan Ambrose’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
It genuinely sucks that Ready Player One is about a 9.5 on the scale of visual gratification but a near 3 on the spectrum of plot. It slaughters me to know how mind-bogglingly phenomenal this movie could've been if it had openly mimicked Ernest Cline's—close to—perfect flair a dose more and had additionally, indulged the classical Spielberg magic that made Spielberg SPIELBERG, not this money-hungry mainstream, cop-out SPIELBERG.
Okay, wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Let's start this review back at the beginning.
Ready Player One incorporates a scale of imaginative frenzy unlike anything ever indulged on the big screen. Every single moment we get to experience invading the spellbinding world of the Oasis, it's like time-traveling into the future of virtual, technological reality. The CGI developers/ designers have crafted a universe rightly groundbreaking. It's BREATHTAKING. This is the plausible galaxy of virtual spectacle that Cline had originally described it as in his best-selling novel.
The action is ADRENALINE FUELED. Once you enter the first race of the film, voilà, it's game over. Heart Rate: 100, 150, 200, 250, 300...s***. I'm dead. You wanted the ultimate nerdy euphoric detonation of a life-time? Boom. Feast your eyes.
While all of these engrossing features surely make Ready Player One something to admire, there is however, aggravating infections that dragged it down to near mediocrity.
The moment where I think Ready Player One dropped the atomic bomb on the storyline was when (about an hour into the film), for some ill-advised reason, Samantha decides to kidnap Wade and make him a part of her rebellion for the rest of the movie's duration. That's about where the writers I think screwed up BIG-TIME because if they had just followed the book's basic plot structure, this movie could've been instantaneously less convoluted. They basically trashed every working element from the source material in order to give us a cheesy romance to explore half-way through our film instead of gradually building the relationship up to a satisfying climax that would've indeed advanced our characters. Character motivations have officially hit the equivalent to a Jackson Pollock painting—being that the whole shebang is now all over the place.
And, look, it's not just timidly weak character development that yanks this movie down, it's also the continuity of EVERYTHING. I recommend not doing this—but I unfortunately did. I started thinking about all that had happened in this movie's stream of events and literally, nothing makes any sense. Whether it be how...
...it's physically impossible the Oasis can possibly function with people using it in the real world (considering the movements and tangible spaces and what not), or how/why characters just discover/find other characters in the real world somehow without explanation (Samantha finding Wade), or how IOI can even function legally, or how IOI even profit from enslaving people to pay off debts, or how the MAJORILY SIMPLE key to opening those IOI slave-rooms hasn't been exposed to the public yet, or why there are so many character decisions that seem illogically spontaneous, or why GOING BACKWORDS WAS THE KEY TO WINNING THE RACE (HOW DID NOBODY THINK TO DO THAT IN FIVE YEARS! AND THE CLUE WAS SO BLANTANTLY OBVIOUS WTFFFFF), or...
...I could go on and on but let's just say this whole movie's "new set of alteration in the story" seriously made every plot element in the film feel like one colossal clusterf***.
I understand that it's absolutely necessary to change components from the source material when developing a live-action adaptation, but if you're going to do it, you better damn well make it good, if not, better. Plus, why even change it at all if the format was initially foolproof to begin with and you could legitimentally just copy and paste the blueprint while, in the end, birthing a more compelling and dynamic story, while even saving some funds! I just hate how this studio has turned such an intricate, thought-provoking, and plausibly crafted storyline into something so average and formulaic. It makes me consistently wonder what could've caused a decision like this (But let's be honest. They probably just chose to format the story like this so they could appeal to the modern, younger, more hyperactive audiences in order to make more $$$).
Ready Player One is too fixated on the visual thrills rather than investing their audience into a Spielberg suffused, enchanted story that will firmly provoke something rewarding. The film mostly seems like a cooperate made product rather than Spielberg's actual creation. Honestly, if they had—I hate to be that guy but I'm going to be that guy just this one time—pursued the novel's basic template, Ready Player One might've genuinely twisted out as a blockbuster masterpiece.
However, that being said, this movie is still loads of fun. Ready Player One is, in essence, like catching a one-time drug. It's an absolute, fanciful, utopian blast, but you don't realize what in the world is occurring around you. It all...just...happens. Okay? Verdict Change: (B —> C)
I wish they had the balls to make this movie R but, you know, money...
The Iron Giant...😭🤧😢