Top marks on concept.
Yes, Ready Player One clearly takes inspiration from classics such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Back to the Future, two of my all-time favourite films (both clear 5-stars in my book!). Whilst this doesn’t reach those dizzying heights by any means, the positive thing here is that they have put them into the melting pot of virtual reality to make something new. From a conceptual point of view it stands out.
In a dystopian 2045, a virtual world called the OASIS has become the place for everyone to escape reality. With the launch of a competition to take over ownership of the OASIS, Wade (Tye Sheridan) and Samantha (Olivia Cooke) compete fiercely to prevent it falling into the hands of the IOI corporation and its evil CEO Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn).
The acting is fine but no Oscar winners here. Mendelsohn is back to his typical baddie role – has anyone been more typecast than this since Alan Rickman?
It feels much more promising in the first half. I think because it’s more about being introduced to the virtual world and what goes on there, which I found particularly interesting. The puzzles in the competition also give things a real lift. The second half becomes tiresome in some of the action scenes, and the writing seems to get sloppier.
All in all, this is a movie’s movie. There’s a lot to enjoy here, even if it falls short in some areas. The upbeat 80s soundtrack doesn’t hurt either 😉
Ready Player One premieres in Sweden on 28 March.