Friday, March 30, 2018

Movie Review: Ready Player One

"As terrifying and as painful as reality can be its also the only place where you can get a decent meal because reality is real." - James Halliday (Creator of the OASIS)

This quote sums up the overall meaning of Ready Player One, and the influence it will carry with any generation whatsoever.

In Ready Player One, the world of 2045 is on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.

Starting with the highlights of Ready Player One, anyone can see the massive amount of pop culture icons and references that were put on display in this movie whether it be from The Iron Giant, The Shining, or more obscure movies by today's standards such as Krull or The Last Starfighter. On another note, the sound editing and mixing for this movie were phenomenal! Just as the visuals for this movie were breathtaking as well! Steven Spielberg captured the visuals and imagination of video games better than any other director has in the past twenty years.

Now as far as storytelling goes, there's no doubt that Spielberg still has the magic touch. However, the script falls short in a lot of ways, whether it be the love story, the shallow characters and villain or even the plot at some points. I would like to point out that I didn't hate the changes from the book. Although I did feel like it could've been adapted much more accurately, which is my next complaint about Ready Player One.

The characters and the plot, while all are still accurate to the book, were lost in translation. They had the heart of the book, but none of the flesh. What I mean by that is you could tell the heart was there with those feelings of nostalgia and joy for the characters, but a lot of the motives and emotions for the characters is lost.

Overall, Ready Player One is great fun and a visual and auditory feast. While lacking in some story aspects, the movie makes up for them with a massive scale of pop culture references. I wasn't a huge fan of it the first time I watched it. I came to love it the second and third times, though.

Ready Player One is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language. The only "partial nudity" I can think of is a scene showing the bare back of a girl. I don't even think they even showed an eight of her bottom. There is definitely some suggestive dancing, however.

Ready Player One was directed by Steven Spielberg. Zak Penn and Ernest Cline wrote the screenplay. It stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, and Simon Pegg. The movie runs 140 minutes.

8 / 10 stars.

(Review by Everett Shirey)