Early buzz: critics divided on Spielberg’s Ready Player One

Early reviews from SXSW are in for Steven Spielberg’s near-future sci-fi Ready Player One, and it has critics divided. While some are lifting the palms of their hands for the visual spectacles and the deviations from the source material, others have their arms folded for similar reasons.

“Never, ever underestimate Steven Spielberg,” IndieWire states, praising the director for his “cavalcade of visuals leaving the impression that he watched a bunch of Luc Besson movies and decided he could outdo them all.”

Hollywood Reporter was also favourable: “A rollicking adventure through worlds both bleak and fantastic, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One makes big changes to the specifics and structure of Ernest Cline’s best-selling novel but keeps the spirit and level-up thrills intact.”

The Guardian, however, made it known that “the weakness of the source material still pokes out… Others may want to unplug from the paint-by-number characters and shallow plot.”

Screen Crush went one further: “After a while, it’s all just so much visual noise, like every fight in Michael Bay’s Transformers movies… You can’t tell who’s who and what’s what, though Ready Player One goes out of its way to deliver many cameos and references with the same heavy hand used to execute an obnoxious needle drop.”

Ready Player One releases in cinemas March 29