Ready Player One Review
"Ready Player One passes the test, but not with flying colors"
Ready Player One
is Steven Spielberg’s latest movie adaptation of the famous novel by Ernest Cline.
In the year 2045, in the setting of what is called a stacks, a colossal looking trailer park rising high into the air, the inhabitants’ grim reality have filled their time with a virtual reality game called the OASIS. In the OASIS, everyone has a cool avatar, plays for hours and hours on end, and an escape is provided from a mediocre life for as long as they can stand to keep their goggles on.
James Halliday (Mark Rylance) the eccentric inventor of the OASIS has passed away and has left his players with an incredible gift. He has hidden an Easter egg in the games, and in order for the winner to receive said Easter egg, they must retrieve three keys first. The player to get the most keys gets the Easter egg that ultimately gives the winner control of the game as well as Halliday’s leftover fortune.
No player has been able to get one key for five years until the first key is won by young Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan). He becomes an instant celebrity, capturing the attention of the evil corporation IOI and its leader, Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), who plan on turning the game into a means for profit.
Wade, along with his friends Aech (Lena Waithe), Sho (Phillip Zhao), Daito (Win Morisaki) and his girlfriend Samantha (Olivia Cooke) race to beat IOI, so that they can get the Easter egg first to preserve the citizens of the stacks to save their game and prevent their home from further turmoil.
The biggest problem that Ready Player One
has its hero, Wade Watts. Although Wade is a smart kid, he really doesn’t do anything that deserves special treatment which he receives all throughout this movie. His skill and knowledge does not stand out among any of the other players, solidified when Samantha receives the second key. And his friends do plenty of the work for him, constantly coming up with clever plans to outsmart the villain, putting themselves in danger in order for him to get the third key, and electing him leader for no real reason. He’s the hero simply because the plot says so.
With the exception of one brilliant scene from The Shining
, the animation is rather forgettable. The film is a good 75% CGI and while impressive, its’ not particularly enthralling. It's flat, most of it is greyscale so it doesn’t pop out of the screen like a movie like this should. It's incredibly disappointing of a movie of this stature.
Last, but not least there are the endless plot culture references. To be fair, it is incorporated as part of the story, but there are so many that it becomes a bit redundant. You can’t help but feel that Ready Player One
is using this tactic to follow the trend of nostalgia that has been prevalent on movie and television in recent months.
Ready Player One
can be a fun movie, but it is pretty disappointing one. With animation and a story of this magnitude, and Spielberg behind the lens, one would hope that they are walking into something unforgettable; instead, you get slightly above average.