Early Word on ‘Ready Player One’ Is Surprisingly Positive

Early Word on ‘Ready Player One’ Is Surprisingly Positive

While I certainly hope that every new movie coming out is good — especially movies coming from one of the unquestionable greatest filmmakers of all time — that isn’t always the case.  Even revered creators fumble and the great classics are sadly few and far between.  And Ready Player One was always about as far away from a sure thing as you could get as source material for a blockbuster movie.

Ready Player One was not a good book, leaving little expectation in many readers’ minds that it wouldn’t somehow become a good movie.  Between its jilted prose and transphobic plot points, it’s ultimately little more than a jumbled mess of surface level references amidst insufferably sophomoric writing.  Although encouraging, heading into it I assumed that the Steven Spielberg’s involvement in the adaptation meant nothing.  Rotten apples don’t fall far from the tree and there’s only so much you can change when translating a story into a new medium.

Early Word on ‘Ready Player One’ Is Surprisingly Positive

And then, of course, there was the trailer: one of the worst I’ve seen for such a sprawling project in recent memory.  They paraded out everything from Overwatch‘s Tracer to Street Fighter‘s Chun Li to the Iron Giant and it all just seemed so superficial: references in place of characters, references in place of plot.  Nothing, from the source material to the marketing, gave me any hope that it would even be a disposably fun movie.  It looked bad.

But, evidently, I judged the film too soon.  The earliest word is starting to trickle down from those who saw early and critics screenings for the film.  And, from what I’m able to gather, it’s just about the most Spielberg movie ever made.  The references are many, but they’re evidently fun and not replacing any of the necessary facets of a feature film.  The story is brisk and funny.  The characters are mercifully retooled from the original novel.

Early Word on ‘Ready Player One’ Is Surprisingly Positive

In short, Spielberg took a Marvel approach to the novel he was adapting.  He kept the title, the characters and the broad story beats that make up the story’s basic skeleton.  Everything else got tossed out and remade before anything was ever committed to film.  It’s just like how Age of Ultron and Civil War resemble their comic progenitors in name only.

Although the film is set to debut in two weeks, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has already awarded it a 78% rating based on 23 reviews.  Granted, that’s not a lot of reviews to go off of and that number stands to drastically change before it hits theaters at the end of the month, but the basic point appears to be salient.  The movie is good — another crowd-pleaser the likes of which that only Spielberg seems capable of providing — and improves dramatically on the novel that spawned it.

I guess I should think twice the next time I doubt the director that gave us Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in the exact same year.

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