Ian Hobbs’s review published on Letterboxd:
"She wanted to go dancing, so we watched a movie."
When I first read Ernest Cline's novel "Ready Player One," it was the time in my life where I really started to fall in love with pop culture and all things nerdy, so you can imagine that the book was perfect for me. I really never understood the hatred for it, but I absolutely fell in love with it; so when it was announced Steven Spielberg would be making the film I was beyond excited and after walking out of the theater in awe, I can definitely say that I have a new found love for Ready Player One.
For my spring break I wanted to spend it in Hollywood and knowing the reputation that the Chinese Theater has, thanks to the suggestion from my friend Jordan, I knew I had to see it there - and boy was it an experience. If you've never been there, please try too, because the huge screen and the capability of the speakers really amplified the film in a way that just made it so much more fun than I was already having. Maybe on a rewatch I won't get the full experience and maybe that is influencing my rating, but honestly, Ready Player One is definitely top-tier Spielberg.
And man did I miss the science fiction-adventure extravaganzas that Spielberg has made in the past. While I enjoy some of his recent dips in historical events, Ready Player One just *feels* so Spielberg and I loved it. He films with such passion and he brings the wonderful OASIS to life and it's truly a beauty to see. I thought the overabundance of CGI and visual effects would be too much, but it actually works well spliced with the real world. I think Spielberg really allowed the film to flow in its own way, and it worked perfectly for me.
Written by original author Ernest Cline & Zak Penn, I think the real trouble that Ready Player One faces is its storytelling - despite being quite different from the book. The character development isn't really there - in both the book and film - but it bothered me a lot more in the film. The side characters, aside from Aech, didn't work as well and the romance between Wade & Samantha felt really rushed and didn't work as well as the book. The storytelling felt a little easy at times, but overall it worked better than most book-to-film adaptations.
Speaking of characters, the real treat of the film is how well the actors fit into their roles. Tye Sheridan as Perzival was so perfect. I love how passionate he was and he really felt like he was having a blast filming. Olivia Cooke was wonderful as well, and I really liked how they played off each other - even if their romance wasn't that good. Lena Waithe & Mark Rylance were definitely the highlights of the film and I laughed more than I thought. Also, Simon Pegg was a nice addition.
This has been one of my most anticipated movies ever since it was announced close to 3 years ago, and watching it in the Chinese Theater I think really had blown my mind. Steven Spielberg took one of my favorite books and turned it into a mesmerizing experience on film that had me smiling from start to finish. Ready Player One is one of Spielberg's best and definitely a contender for one of the most fun I've had at the movies in while; need to see this again soon and love it even more.