The sell for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is a little like the sell for Jurassic Park, except instead of dinosaur shock and awe, it’s pop-culture nostalgia shock and awe.
Jolie’s Lara was perhaps having too much fun for much sense of urgency, but Vikander’s Lara isn’t really having fun at all, which makes it hard for the audience to have much fun either.
The idea of saving the world from alien invaders with classic video-game skills is not without a certain dumb appeal.
In the years since Tron, of course, video games have come closer and closer to approximating reality, and computer-graphics in movies have gone further still — and, in a way, this is the problem with Tron: Legacy.
Among the least inspiring phrases in the English language, I wrote in my review of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, is “based on a video game.” Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is not based on a video game, but video games are part of its artistic DNA, along with comic books, anime, kung fu movies and music videos. Big difference.
Are there five less inspiring words in the English language than “based on a video game”?
If Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over were consistent, that protest would become Juni’s mantra, repeated every thirty seconds or so from that point on until the end of the film. Then again, if Spy Kids 3-D were consistent — about anything at all — it might actually start making some kind of sense.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.