- Review by Kaya Savas - 4/19/18
When you think of Steven Spielberg you automatically think of John Williams, but recently we saw that Spielberg can still be Spielberg without dear John. Thomas Newman scored Bridge Of Spieswhen John Williams had pacemaker surgery on top of juggling Star Wars. And now enter Alan Silvestri when John Williams couldn’t juggle both The Post and Ready Player One. With Spielberg creating a modern adventure with a classic feel, Silvestri seemed like the perfect choice. Silvestri’s classic orchestral adventure sound was a perfect match for the Oasis, and Ready Player One is one of Alan’s most refreshingly fun scores in recent memory.
Ready Player One is based on the popular novel, and the entire story surrounds itself with pop culture references so you have to expect that source music will be a huge part of the film. The use of some classic songs doesn’t overpower anything though, in fact I was surprised how much real estate Alan Silvestri’s score was still able to have. Spielberg never let any of the songs do any of the storytelling, they were there just for nostalgia and atmosphere. The score does all the heavy lifting including setting up our characters and their mission. Silvestri’s sound in itself is nostalgia though, you can’t escape it. The emotions from hearing him tap into his older style of writing brought back a surge of feelings from scores like Forrest Gump and Back To The Future, but the score is entirely part of the now in this story. We do get a tiny Back To The Future reference, but other than that the score pretty much leaves the references to the visuals.
Structurally, everything works. We get a wonderful theme that develops throughout and really comes into full bloom in the third act. In fact, the third act is where all the magic truly happens. The score becomes big but never bombastic. Even when the action is full-throttle there seems to be a delicate craftsmanship to the whole thing.
Ready Player One manages to feel classic and new at the same time, and that becomes the score’s biggest strengths. It’s impossible to not have a smile on your face as Silvestri employs techniques and adventure stylings that he has perfected through his entire career. The music is mainly about scoring the mission at hand, and it’s an amazing ride from start to finish.