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There Sure Is a Lot Happening in the New Ready Player One Trailer

None of it seems good.


Just watching this trailer is a lot to experience. I for one am exhausted.

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s popular science fiction novel is coming to theaters in the US on March 29th, which is relatively soon! While the last trailer released gave a go at outlining the plot for those new to Ready Player One, this one is a chaotic jumble of Many Things Occurring All At Once, while a weird haunting refrain of “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory plays in the background.

(Is this song a nod to the book’s protagonist looking for an easter egg that will let him inherit a fortune, a la Charlie Bucket, or Spielberg’s lifelong dedication to stories about wayward boys? Maybe both!)

For all of the special effects flash-bang wizardry on display here, there’s something tediously plodding in the trailer. Maybe it’s the painfully leaden dialogue that’s interspersed with jumbles of scenes that jump from reality to VR and back. Maybe it’s because I spent ten hours of my life recently devouring the gorgeous Altered Carbon and even with Spielberg onboard this looks chintzy, an after-school special about the virtual world intersecting with dystopian reality.

I have a strong personal dislike for trailers that appear to show the entire movie—it often indicates the movie is Not Good, so they’re pulling out all the big guns in an attempt to impress. The sheer amount of stuff we see on frantic display here worries me. Robots! Explosions! The Rebellion! It wants to add up to something exciting, but that’s not the vibe I’m getting at all.

I hope that I’m wrong. Anyway, did you catch the Jurassic Park easter egg therein? That flash of a dino is my favorite part of this whole trailer. My God is the voiceover horrifically bad.

Let’s think about Ready Player One showing up on Jeopardy! Instead. Jeopardy! is fun, unlike this trailer.

(image: screengrab/Warner Bros.)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.