REMEMBER THE ’80s? YOU LOVE THE ’80s
Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Lays the Nostalgia on Thick at Comic-Con
Warner Bros’ flashy presentation for Spielberg’s new sci-fi film at San Diego Comic-Con was more hype than substance.
Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One was the first trailer out the gate from Warner Bros.' Comic Con panel, with a flashy trailer to meet fan anticipation. Now that the dust has settled… it wasn't very exciting. Spielberg, dubbed a "cinematic game changer" in the trailer (which was a clever pun, considering Ready Player One is about a game — but it also touted the source material (a novel of the same name by Ernest Cline) as the "holy grail of pop culture." It wouldn't be the first time Warner Bros. laid it on a little too thick during their panel, particularly once the superheroes of Justice League showed up, but calling Cline's novel the "holy grail of pop culture" is laughable at best.
Here's Warner Bros. official description of the film: "The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger."
It all sounds good and right up Spielberg's alley, with shades of Minority Report and A.I., but there's also nothing particularly revelatory about another sci-fi film starring a white male lead in his 20s. Lost in the midst of her snafu over The Color Purple, Elizabeth Banks was certainly onto something about Spielberg sticking with white dudes as the leads in his films.
Casting aside, the film looks visually impressive and is full of exciting easter eggs like the appearance of The Iron Giant. When Spielberg has a good time, we all have a good time, his films have shown that. You don't have to oversell us so hard, WB.