In the year 2045, people can escape their harsh reality in the OASIS, an immersive virtual world where you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone-the only limits are your own imagination. OASIS creator James Halliday left his immense fortune and control of the Oasis to the winner of a contest designed to find a worthy heir. When unlikely hero Wade Watts conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends-known as the High Five-are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS and their world. – Warner Brothers Pictures
Ready Player One is based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline.
Spielberg is back, baby! Or maybe he never went anywhere but this is the first Spielberg movie since War of the Worlds that I’ve seen in theaters, unless you count the time Jurassic Park was re-released in theaters. Lemme preface this review with saying that my all-time favorite Spielberg film is Jurassic Park and Jaws is a close runner up. Ready Player One is not Jurassic Park nor is it Jaws.
People consistently say when talking about books turned to movies that the books are always better. I’ve only read the first two chapters of Ready Player One, so this review will be based solely on the film.
Ready Player One is a nostalgia and pop culture fueled roller coaster ride of a movie. Blink or turn away from the screen for a second and you’re likely to miss 20 or so pop culture references. Coupled with the nostalgia is a killer 80’s pop soundtrack. This movie is eye candy, ear candy, basically just all kinds of candy. Visually this movie is gorgeous, most of it is CGI. The bits in the OASIS looked like a real video game which I’m sure is what Spielberg intended. The live-action scenes were just as good as the CGI ones but jumping between the two worlds at times could be a bit distracting. Both the OASIS and the real world were interesting and unique worlds, I just wish we spent more time in the real world.
This movie had some top notch acting. Ben Mendelsohn was incredible, I’m sure he’s a super nice dude but he was born to play a villain. His character Nolan Sorrento is the CEO of IOI and he’ll do whatever it takes to gain full control of the OASIS, even if that means killing kids in the real world. He plays the character so glib and charming, at the flick of switch he goes from a normal business man to maniacal sociopath. His American accent is a bit wonky though.
Mark Rylance played James Halliday the genius behind the OASIS. Halliday is a man with incredible intelligence but ultimately lacks in social skills because of that he resorts to a life of loneliness and solitude. The way Rylance plays the role you can’t help but empathize with the guy.
Wade Watts played by Tye Sheridan is such a likable everyday kid but I feel we the audience just didn’t learn enough about him to really connect with the character. The same problem happens with the rest of the “High Five” (Wade’s OASIS clan not a clan), we just don’t spend enough time with them in the real world to connect with them.
And then TJ Miller played i-R0k, a hired gun employed by Nolan. He was obviously the comic relief but I don’t think it worked. I found him to be annoying, his jokes were very hit or miss.
The story itself I found super compelling, a quest set in a video game world were anything is possible and there’s pop culture reference a plenty. What’s not to like? Nothing it was utterly enthralling. Yes, they were some flaws, for example I wish the story took place more in the real world but at almost 2 and a half hours I can understand why it didn’t. Ready Player One could’ve been a 4-hour long movie easily.
Ready Player One is an absolute blast. My eyes were glued to the screen in childlike wonder as I sat on the edge of my seat. Spielberg is indeed back.
I give Ready Player One a 7.9 out of 10, would watch again.