Some people just don’t love the things you do; it’s bound to happen. For some, that’s Nirvana; for others, it’s The Godfather. For me, it’s Ready Player One. Yeah, I said it. I don’t like Ready Player One. I own it, I’ve read it, and I’m just not impressed. It features a main character who wants to get the girl without really treating her as anything more than a prize to be won, and it coasts by on cultural references that we can point to and scream, “Weren’t the 80s awesome?!” without trying to remember that whole Iran-Contra business and the steep hills single moms had to climb or the continued racial struggles (I’m still shuddering at Soul Man, C. Thomas Howell) and the fact that we’re stuck with sanctimonious Bob Geldof. Because who needs that when you can look through the rose-colored goggles of Ms. Pacman and Bananarama.
Still, people love this book, so we’re getting a movie. Not just any movie – we’re getting a Spielberg movie. The trailer dropped this past week at San Diego Comic Con. Here it is.
I was prepared to give this a chance, but after watching this trailer, I am not ready to take this film to dinner, let alone toss its salad after a handful of jokes and some cute cultural references. I have heard several people who have not read the book say that they have no idea what’s going on based upon watching this trailer, and that’s not a good sign. That means that the film is counting on you having read the book, which means you’re going to miss something and feel lost. Some are banking on the fact that it’s Spielberg directing it, but let’s not forget that this is the same man that subjected us to Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – he’s not bullet proof, nor should we expect him to be.
I just hope that that in the end, the fans get the movie they want. After all, this is for them, not me.