So the Ready Player One trailer dropped this weekend and boy am I uneasy about it. Part of me worries that this will be one of Spielberg’s worst outings to date and the trailers so far haven’t convinced me otherwise. I want to breakdown the trailer and discuss what I liked and what has me worried.
The best parts of the trailer for me are the dystopian trailer park within Columbus, Ohio. You can really feel the citizens’ detachment from reality by just the few scenes of how messed up the city is. The drab browns are a great juxtaposition to the bright and vibrant virtual world of OASIS. Or at least parts of it. One of my biggest critiques is that the race scene is visually pretty boring especially compared to the dance sequence later in the trailer. OASIS is supposed to be just that, an escape from the dying world but I fear that the scenery within OASIS will be even more boring and drab than the dystopian hellscape itself.
Let’s talk cameos. The source material borrows heavily from 80’s pop-culture.…so it’s strange seeing Tracer from Overwatch alongside Chun-Li from Street Fighter screaming a battle cry as they run into battle. It’s going to be interesting to see how these cameos play out in the film. Why are they here? What role will they play? Will they feel shoe-horned in or will they feel like a part of this world?
One of my biggest gripes looking at the trailer was the feeling of claustrophobia as almost every frame felt super packed. The race scene, the Tracer scene, the dancing scene, the trailer park all felt super cramped which takes away from the visual appeal. There just isn’t enough empty space to direct our focus and causes us to be lost in the frame. There’s just way too much stuff to take in. Prime example: On your first viewing of the trailer there is no way you caught Tracer and Chun-Li among the rest of the random skeletons and zombies.
Last gripe: the CG. That close up of our silver-haired protagonist in the virtual world looked bad. Which is shocking for such a big production. Most of the other shots of Oasis looked fine, but that one close up as me worried. With so much of the film dependent on CG we have to wonder if the film pulls it off without driving straight into uncanny valley.
What did you guys think? Let me know below and we might talk about it on the pod!
PS> IRON GIANT HYPEEEE