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  • Writer's pictureJ J Hanna

REVIEWS: The Greatest Showman, Ready Player One, and Incredibles 2

I’ve been watching a lot of movies recently, spanning from Ready Player One to The Greatest Showman to Incredibles 2. And I have to say, I haven’t been disappointed.

Since I’ve been watching these movies, I figured I’d write up a quick review of each of them.

So consider this your spoiler alert.

If you haven’t seen these movies, and don’t want to be spoiled for elements, then I suggest you skip to the movies you have seen or stop reading now. Okay. You’ve been warned. Don’t get mad at me now.

Ready Player One: 4 stars

Coming out of reading the book, I was a little concerned about how they would successfully pull off this movie. Much of the book is centered around other pop culture references and obscure video games. And it’s not that entertaining to watch a main character play video games in the form of a movie when you could play the game yourself or watch the movie they’re reenacting. So, I had my concerns.

But they did this movie really well. Granted, it’s different than the book. It had to be. The book, while having an exciting plot line in novel form, would have made for a boring movie. Each of the three challenges for the keys and the challenges in the gates are different, and many major plot elements still occurred, but with a different main character (I’m looking at you, Art3mis. You were not where you should have been, and you did not look like your character in the book. But your actress still did a wonderful job).

As a movie based off of a book, I give this a 2 star rating. As a movie, however, I give it a 4 star rating. There were elements in there that didn’t need to be there (*cough* the Shining *cough*), but overall it was a good movie, and paid homage to its source material. That’s one of the benefits of having the author work on the screen play. It still felt like Ready Player One, despite its differences. Would I watch it again? Yeah, now that I know when the Shining is coming and when I should close my eyes. Would I buy it? Probably not.

The Greatest Showman: 4 stars

I know. I’m late on this train. But I wanted to watch it and enjoy it without other people’s thoughts of it in my head. It’s like that quote by Haruki Murakami, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you’ll only think what everyone else is thinking.” I had to watch it when the hype died down and come at it with fresh eyes.

The music is beautiful and has some wonderful messages, and the show was entertaining. I found parts extremely predictable, but I also study storytelling for a living. So whether that’s a negative that the plot and the romances were predictable, or a positive that the foreshadowing was well done, I’ll let you decide.

I give this movie a 4 star rating. It was good, and extremely well done, however because I knew what was coming, I didn’t find it overly enthralling. With the exception of the dance between Zac Efron’s character and Zendaya’s character. That was beautiful. Would I watch it again? Probably. Is it my new favorite movie? Probably not.

Incredibles 2: 5 stars

This was one of the most anticipated movies of the year. My goodness. There were memes and jokes months before it came out, because we’d been waiting for 14 years. Man. Don’t do that to people. But the good news is you still have an audience, because the first movie was so well done. So take that how you will.

This was a very good movie. I enjoyed it and really liked seeing the familiar characters again. I also enjoyed that it followed Elastigirl rather than Mr. Incredible, showcasing her very interesting powers and some new ways they can be useful in crime fighting. I’m also a sucker for a good “good guy turned bad but not really” story, so I fully enjoyed this.

However, I knew who the bad guy was from the moment she stepped on screen, and I wasn’t the only one. It was obvious, which, I suppose, is one way to do irony in story telling. However, I prefer the Hans style plot twist, where the one you were rooting for all along is the villain and the person you thought would be bad was actually good.

As a family movie suitable for all ages, this movie gets a 5 star rating. It was thoroughly enjoyable and I liked watching the familiar characters in their continued character development. Not to mention how funny it was to watch Mr. Incredible try to figure out how to parent his super children. (My favorite part was definitely when he took Jack-Jack to Edna Mode for help. That was beautifully written, and I’m glad we got to see Edna again. She is a gem.)

What were your thoughts on these movies? Did you like them? Do you agree with my ratings? Let me know in the comments. Also, if there’s a movie you think I should see next and write up a short review for, let me know that, too.


J. J. Hanna is a Professional Writing major at Taylor University. In her spare time she enjoys creating comics and Youtube videos and practicing Karate. She’d love to hear from you, so send her a note or leave a comment.

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