What would be the easiest way for me to express my feelings for a Ready Player One review? Go see the movie and remember that Steven Spielberg is a Director of some renown? Sure. I feel you will be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t make it out to an actual movie theater and see it? Maybe. Nostalgia is not the be all and end all for the film? Definitely a truth, and in addition a valid point. No, the easiest way for me to sum up a Ready Player One review is that Spielberg has delivered a very fun film.
Obviously as I have already stated in previous posts, I admit I am one of the target audience. Of course I would be woefully inept if I didn’t mention the Retroist summed up the problems facing the film better than myself. But the truth is this. Ready Player One while not a perfect film is the closest we’ve come to seeing the Spielberg that brought us some genre-forging films. Similar to the likes of Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Furthermore, I truly feel that not only Spielberg but Zak Penn have taken the core of Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel. I don’t want to stay improved it, but perhaps brought other elements of the story to the forefront. Case in point, Art3mis, wonderfully played by Olivia Cooke. Many critics have lashed out at Cline…and with reason…that her role in the book is something akin to a prize to be won. I am happy to say that in the film version that couldn’t be further than the truth, yes, it’s still a love story but no one is being ‘won’.
Tye Sheridan does a very good job of portraying the main protagonist of the film, Wade Watts aka Parzival. To be fair the film’s beginning might be considered a little heavy on the exposition. On the other hand this is a case where the audience needs to get caught up on the fly. So I think it’s honest to say that the filmmakers didn’t make a mistake in this regard. Lena Waithe, Ben Mendelsohn, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, as well as Simon Pegg do great jobs with their roles too. Although I felt that Mark Rylance stole the show, in his scenes as the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday.
Of course as has been seen in the trailers, in fact too much so, is the pop culture celebrated by the film. In that superior post by the Retroist, he wisely mentions that the marketing for the film. Had indeed slightly missed the point of the film itself. The nostalgia that those of us of a certain age will feel while watching the film…isn’t the film. It would however be fair to say that it is used as something akin to window dressing. In fact Cline’s 2015 follow up novel Armada goes way, way too far with the nostalgia. I want my main takeaway from this Ready Player One review to be this. In no way is the pop culture nods or nostalgia ever rammed down your throat or the like. It is most CERTAINLY celebrated but Spielberg yet again knows this isn’t what the movie is about.
Naturally since this is my Ready Player One review, I reckon I better tell you the synopsis. It is 2045 and Wade is like practially everyone on the planet. Just trying to find some relief from the oppressing life he was born into. It does appear that every Man, Woman, and Child find escape by way of a staggering virtual reality universe known as the OASIS. Which had been created earlier by Halliday and his best friend Ogden Morrow (Pegg), before a falling out saw Halliday becoming sole owner of the technology. The creator of the OASIS was literally loved by the World…and why not?
This virtual reality paradise, assuming you can afford it, lets you do anything. With the right equipment you can even have physical contact, for good or ill. Many aspects of pop culture have been given literally their own planets. For example, Planet Doom, which appears to be a free-for-all. Especially when artifacts are up for grabs. Think of these as incredibly rare and powerful power-ups, to be used and hoarded by those throughout the OASIS.
James Halliday has died several years before the start of Ready Player One. While the World mourns the loss of such a genius, the eccentric has a little game to play still. That is the fact that he has created the greatest Easter egg hunt. Somewhere in the overwhelming vastness of the OASIS are hidden three keys, the player that finds them will inherit Halliday’s fortune. As well as the OASIS itself I should add – which would make them the most powerful person on the planet. Which is of course why the IOI, an telecommunications empire wants to make sure they are the ones who find Halliday’s Easter Egg.
Obviously, Wade and his fellow Gunters, those who hunt for the keys and aren’t employed by IOI – find themselves in the crosshair of that powerful corporation. It becomes a race to see who will gain control of the OASIS…and Halliday’s dream of a better world.
Ready Player One, friends…it is an incredibly entertaining film. A joyride that sums up why I so dearly love movies. Many of those films that I hold so dear, were of course directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is an absolute blast to see him rekindle the ‘spirit’ of some of his earlier work. A film which understands the delights of all pop culture and most importantly, has a lot of heart.
That 80’s feeling is helped by a score composed by the legendary Alan Silvestri. So the last thing in this Ready Player One review is the opportunity to hear the main theme from the film. Enjoy!
[via] WaterTower Music
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