- 06 Apr 18
Having made a career out of playing memorable bad guys, Ben Mendelsohn turns in another superb performance as the villain in one of the year’s most hotly anticipated films, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.
Ben Mendelsohn has long been bringing an intimidating energy to our screens, playing all kinds of villains in films like Animal Kingdom, Una, Star Wars and now Steven Spielberg’s dystopian thriller Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s novel. Known for his intense stare, volcanic energy and ability to make your blood run cold even when speaking calmly, Mendelsohn is Hollywood’s new favourite Bad Guy. In reality, the only evil-adjacent trait of the 48-year-old actor is his brilliant cackle, but he deploys it with an air of mischief and self-deprecation, with nary an malevolent plan in sight – thank goodness.
But evil plans are indeed on the mind of his character Nolan Sorrento, a power-craving CEO who wants to take control of OASIS, the virtual reality world where most of the Earth’s citizens spend their time, since our own world has been ruined by climate change and corruption. OASIS was dreamed up by the late designer James Halliday, and when it’s discovered that Halliday created a game within OASIS that unlocks ownership to the entire system, Sorrento goes head-to head with some plucky teenagers, whose fight for freedom may just beat his passion for power and profit.
I pitch that given its criticism of greed and capitalism, Ready Player One is like a technology-driven Willy Wonka.