Going to the latest dystopian YA novel adaptation used to feel more like escapist fare. These movies had fantastical scenarios where teenagers discovered who they were and how they could fix the messed-up world around them. But the times have changed, and the stories haven’t. The narratives that once elevated the act of surviving adolescence into a hero’s journey now feel stale. With so much anxiety about the future in the real world, we don’t need entertainment to transport us into a dystopian one.
"Unfortunately, 'Ready Player One' has a noticeable girl problem: it can’t see female characters as just other people. For as skilled and resourceful as Art3mis/Samantha (Olivia Cooke) is, her avatar is that of an impossible pixie dream girl – a creature with a svelte body, anime-inspired big eyes, weapons training and the person who knows and loves almost every reference Wade makes. Of course, she’s damaged with a birthmark on her face, and he’s the only nice guy who can see that she’s truly beautiful. Samantha is the artificially programmed Eve to Wade’s Adam, but worse because she never gets the chance to sin."