Rachel Henrie ✨’s review published on Letterboxd:
I don't know what my deal is regarding Spielberg's work, but it never seems to work for me. I admire what he has done for the "new hollywood" cinema, but his films have never touched me on a personal level. However, I try to put those negative feelings aside whenever I am watching something by a director I am usually not fond with. In the case of Ready Player One, I was expecting a fun action-y summer flick that could spark my inner child imagination. Even though that is what I got, I still feel disappointed for some reason.
I think my main problem with the film is its lack of originality and the constant and questionable reliance on nostalgia. The plot is promising and the setting is creative, but I feel like I have seen a similar scenario a million times? The lack of complexity in the characters and their poorly developed relationships also bothered me a little bit, considering how experienced Spielberg is in the art of crafting films and characters. Also, that vilain? Please, we have had enough with the "Evil Corporate Man in a Suit" trope. Mindless rambling aside, the fan service and the nostalgic elements heavily and unevenly spread throughout the film felt non-organic and forced. There are so many pop culture references that could please literally anyone ever, from a child to a grown adult, but they aren't developed enough, they just feel like an easy way to get people to connect with the film, which wouldn't be a bad thing in my opinion if it was used in a more parsimonious way.
Don't get me wrong, I had fun and I was entertained throughout my viewing, but I feel like Ready Player One could have brought more to the table than just pure entertainment. The overall themes and the broken human relationships alone could've been developed more, therefore creating something with more substance. I still feel like Spielberg managed to make a film that will connect with a wide spectrum of people, and that's a huge quality for a moving picture that I cannot ignore, but I am quite sad to admit that I was still majorly disappointed.