Ready Player One

Release date: March 29th, 2018

I heard a lot of good thing about this film, but I still didn’t anticipate liking it.

This movie is set a majority of time inside a video game and I’m not a gamer (though sometimes I break out my Nintendo NES and destroy some Wheel of Fortune). Although, I didn’t really relate to the video game aspect of the film, there were so many movie and pop culture allusions that I stayed invested.

Ready Player One is littered with so many pop culture references that any “nerd” could find something to make them say, “How did they get the rights to that!?”

My guess is Steven Spielberg. This picture was directed by one of Hollywood’s biggest names in directors/producers. He was at the helm or forefront of the likes of Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, E.T., Jaws, etc. A lot of which are referenced… pretty directly in this movie. It was kinda awesome!

For being a young adult, video game-esque movie, the storyline was actually pretty intricate. The writers were able to weave a game inside a game and still have it make sense.

Ready Player One centers around a kid, Wade Watts aka Parzival (played by Tye Sheridan, X-Men: Apocalypse) who, along with the rest of planet Earth spends their days inside The Oasis; a virtual world created by James Halliday (played brilliantly by Mark Rylance), whom the world worships as a god essentially. Halliday died about a decade before the events in the film take place, but before he died he hid three keys that would unlock an Easter Egg in the game. Giving the first winner of all three keys the rights to The Oasis.

Along with completing dangerous challenges to win keys, Parzival/Wade, Art3mis (played by Olivia Cooke, Bates Motel) and their friends, are challenged by Nolan Sorrento (played by Ben Mendelsohn), the villainous leader of IOI, a corporation hell-bent on taking over the The Oasis and the world.

This is a movie adapted from a book which typically falls victim to the classic plunder of not quite enough explanation. I did have a few questions or times when I wanted more information, but for the most part I think it translates. The good thing with this movie is that it’s so inundated with references, and visually there is so much crap on the screen, you could watch it over and over again and pick up new things.

Ready Player One was at times heartfelt, sad, scary, funny, and action-packed without losing itself in genre black hole. I feel like that is pretty impressive.

Although the film is set in 2045, the story doesn’t seem that far removed from today. We spend hours every day absorbed in a virtual reality of social media, online shopping, gaming and binging Netflix. This idea of living, meeting people, earning money in a cyber world doesn’t seem so far fetched and I think this film is saying something about that. Escaping reality is nice, but there are some things only reality can give you and we should pay attention to that.

 

Before it’s too late. *Whispers* Rosebud.

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