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Ready Player One Is Spielberg’s Most Fun Film in Years – But Not without Flaws

Sebastian Hunt

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★★★

Steven Spielberg is a man who everyone, save for a few dissenters, can agree is easily in the running for the best director of all time. He’s made a great film out of just about every major genre, from gritty war films such as Saving Private Ryan to fun adventures like Indiana Jones. Spielberg’s range is what makes him such an interesting director, not to mention a fun one. But in recent years, he’s opted to stick with the more ‘serious’ genres, producing period pieces such as The Post or Lincoln. None of these films are bad – each one has been a critical and award darlings – but I’ve found this lack in diversity in the past years both boring and detracting of a big part of what makes Spielberg Spielberg. So when he decided to make Ready Player One, his first highly-marketed ‘fun’ film in years, I was excited. And did it deliver?

For the most part, yes. Maybe it’s because it’s because of how refreshing it is, but I very much enjoyed Ready Player One. The performances are all at least solid, the animations are incredibly well-done, and the references that this film is filled to the brim with are all charming and never become annoying or forced.

That’s not to say the film is perfect. The lead (played well by Tye Sheridan), while interesting enough, is far and away the least so of the main characters. During his scenes, I often found myself waiting for Mark Rylance or Olivia Cooke to come back on screen. The aesthetic of the virtual reality world can be incredibly interesting/fun, but occasionally seems to be so overwhelmed with the endless possibilities on-hand and settles for a boring mesh of black and blue so often seen in today’s blockbusters.

However, even with all of its flaws, Ready Player One is the most ‘Spielberg’ film since 2005’s War of the Worlds. It’s a welcome breath of fresh air from the serious, ‘challenging’ films he has been insisting on making in recent years. I would certainly recommend it to adults and children alike.


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Ready Player One Is Spielberg’s Most Fun Film in Years – But Not without Flaws