Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One premiered Sunday night at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, overcoming technical problems to earn a standing ovation from the crowd. However, that response didn't stop at the door to the Paramount Theater, but instead spread onto social media in the form of spoiler-free first reactions.
Ernest Cline's novel has always been divisive, even inspiring a venomous podcast from Rifftrax, and online chatter about Spielberg's film had begun to shift toward the negative in recent weeks. But Sunday's screening appears to have renewed excitement for Ready Player One.
Here's a selection of the first reactions to Ready Player One:
READY PLAYER ONE feels like Spielberg watched a ton of Luc Besson movies and decided to outdo them. In terms of pure spectacle, it’s the most astonishing thing he’s done. Never underestimate Steve. #SXSW— erickohn (@erickohn) March 12, 2018
Ready Player One is a whole lot of fun. Those who are stuck in pre-release hate mode better prepare to be disappointed. #sxsw— Scott Weinwolf (@scottEweinberg) March 12, 2018
#ReadyPlayerOne is classic Steven Spielberg. It’s got the references, the ferocious effects and the great ‘80s soundtrack, sure, but also the charm, the heart, the humor and a fantastic Alan Silvestri score. I loved it & so did this #SXSW crowd. Be excited for it! pic.twitter.com/xwPOGwXDxd— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) March 12, 2018
TOTALLY engrossed in every second of @readyplayerone. It is one of the most technically brilliant things I have EVER seen. Spielberg is one of the few directors who could orchestrate this kind of visual symphony that SO many people will enjoy. Pretty amazing.🎮— Grae Drake (@graedrake) March 12, 2018
Guaranteed. There will be a special brand of people who will complain about how much others enjoy watching @readyplayerone. The good news is the rest of us get to enjoy watching Ready Player One. Holy shit, I know I did.— Jon Risinger (@JonRisinger) March 12, 2018
Emily Yoshida, known to readers of Vulture and fans of Blank Check With Griffin and David, thinks the movie is going to be enormous.
Well everyone relax, Ready Player One will indeed be the biggest thing in the world— Emily Yoshida (@emilyyoshida) March 12, 2018
Not everyone was charmed, however. Kristy Puchko of Pajiba and Slashfilmcast found the whole thing "crass." Britt Hayes of ScreenCrush had to sum up her feelings with a caustic screenshot.
#ReadyPlayerOne posits a corporate big wig who exploits fan culture for profit as its villain. The irony of that is giving me a headache. This is no love letter to pop culture. It’s a crass play to nostalgia; it offers nothing new or exciting.— Kristy Puchko (@KristyPuchko) March 12, 2018
literally my face during every second of Ready Player One. pic.twitter.com/dqZTNeN81r— britt hates (@MissBrittHayes) March 12, 2018
The world at large will get a chance to react to the film soon enough; its wide release is only a few weeks away. The only sure thing is that Ready Player One will continue to inspire strong reactions in everyone who sees it.
In theaters March 29, Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Win Morisaki, Lena Waithe, Hannah John-Kamen, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Ben Mendelsohn, TJ Miller, Ralph Ineson and Letitia Wright.