Ready Player One is a science fiction adventure film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, and written by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on Cline's 2011 novel of the same name. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance.
The Story/The Direction:
The film takes place in 2045 where the real world has become so desolate that the people of the world use a virtual reality software called the OASIS to engage in work and play. Before the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday (Rylance), died, he left clues to an easter egg that would give the finder the full ownership of the OASIS. As the puzzles are incredibly difficult, only a few people remain to find the clues. Wade Watts (Sheridan) is one of those people along with a large company called IOI led by Nolan Sorrento (Mendelsohn).
This film has some great action sequences that are dazzling. The chase scenes are very typical Spielberg where he shifts many characters, vehicles, etc... in and out of frame flawlessly. The scenes are fast and a lot of fun to experience. This film also comments on the dangers of using too much technology and becoming too immersed in the world. There is a huge world out there for people to experience and they should not stay indoors and on the internet. To tell this story and message, the film uses a plethora of pop culture references and essentially an homage to the films of the past. This is thanks to the people of this world's nostalgia for the things of the past. When a person logs into the OASIS, they can be whomever they please such as Batman, Harley Quinn, Iron Giant, or Jason Voorhees. They don't have to reveal their real names and people can make friends and potentially more.
Watts's avatar is Parzival who allows him to escape his terrible home life. Sheridan is able to play this nerdy kid with a dream in a way that will have audiences rooting for him from the start. Another great portrayal is Cooke as Samantha Cook/Art3mis who is the witty and adventurous character who wants to find the egg for personal reasons. Mendelsohn also plays the big CEO boss pretty well and is fairly menacing. In addition, Rylance does an excellent job playing Halliday and it was a lot of fun to see Pegg playing Halliday's friend and partner, Ogden Morrow. The rest of the cast was enjoyable as well.
The main flaw of this film is that there is a lot of exposition. Anything that is background is mostly told to the audience instead of showing them such as the reason why Art3mis is searching for the egg. Her motivation, while valid, was told to the audience in one line of dialogue and that's all. Furthermore, Parzival's background is only shown through one scene and never mentioned again. Unfortunately, the rest of their clan are treated the same with one line of dialogue or not at all. This thus makes the characters feel fairly one dimensional. As such, when the two main characters formulate a relationship, break up, and get back together, the audience does not care. There's no significant arc as the heroes and villains are set up from the beginning and nothing much changes. Each character is exactly how one would expect them to. In addition, the message of not being too involved with the internet is executed in the best way and does not come to fruition until the final act.
Aside from those flaws, however, the film is a lot of fun. The film may have a lot of pop culture and gaming references and yes, if one plays video games and/or gets all the references, they will probably enjoy the film more than one who doesn't. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of elements for anyone to enjoy. Is this Spielberg's best film to date? No, absolutely not but he provides a great and fun adventure film that is definitely worth checking out in theatres and possibly buying on Blu-ray.
Rating: 3.5/5.0 bowties
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