Trudie’s review published on Letterboxd:
Right from the start with Ready Player One my intentions have been to just try and enjoy it for its references and entertainment value. The narrative is far from being strong, the characters are bland and the central romance has no weight but Spielberg still manages to create a spectacle. The action is so immensely dynamic and exciting that you feel like you're right in the middle of it and it's visual dynamite. We are constantly swerving, diving, twisting and turning with vehicles, weapons and perspectives. I could feel Spielberg's confidence throughout. Without that magical flair I'm not sure the film would hold up at all because all of the joys are in the immersion.
I think I remember someone saying that Ready Player One is a bit of a circle jerk and I won't lie, if you've got something against gamer culture (which everybody in their right mind does) I can fully understand why this wouldnt appeal. I, however, am a total loser. As a tom-boy growing up video games were one of the biggest love affairs and I caught myself grinning like an idiot at some of the background easter eggs more than once. It's very close to being too self-referencial and the concept represents everything I usually hate about the modern cinematic landscape - which is a hollow shell that clings to anything audiences are already familiar with - but honestly Spielberg has covered pretty much all bases as a filmmaker and he makes it enchanting enough that nothing feels too overbearing. If anyone was going to pull this off it would be him.
The film has good intentions and is competent in everything it does and because of this it was surprisingly easy to overlook how much it relies on the audience to feel the excitement of what's happening on screen. Like yes okay it's totally ridiculous and like a nostalgic nerd community fanfiction but the man holds it together and HAS FUN WITH IT! You know how many films I watch and can tell that the people making it were having a good time? Not many.
By the way, controversial take inbound, The Shining bit was fucking awesome.
The Oasis is an escape for people who want to get away from their life, drowning yourself in your hobbies and interests is something we all do. For those die hards out there I'm sure Ready Player One feels like their very own Oasis.