+ Recommended – PG-13, Adventure, Action
Steven Spielberg has had a significant impact on the way movies are made today. He’s one of the handful of directors that can sell a movie just by their name alone. When Spielberg announced that he was set to direct Ready Player One, I couldn’t help but smile wide; a director of his caliber creating a movie that will inspire a feeling of nostalgia in more than just video game players.
Ready Player One is a film that you could pause at any frame and see something new. Two different studios handled the VFX: one studio covered the OASIS and the other studio focused on the real world effects. Not only do the characters and worldly creations look well, but it’s very evident that a lot of care went into recreating some of the film’s characters and worlds.
When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he reveals that there is an Easter Egg hidden within the expansive virtual world. Parzival/Wade, played by Tye Sheridan, attempts to solve quests in order to gain keys for unlocking the Easter Egg, which will then give the user the rights to the company and the OASIS. Of course, Parzival meets some friends along the way that help him achieve his ultimate goal.
I was surprised with some of the themes they lightly touched on within Ready Player One. Spielberg effectively explores the current, topical issue of being engaged online 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, though: the script doesn’t allow for much growth within said themes. It’s particularly disappointing, in that regard anyways. That also includes character development; which feels basic to me at times. I drew more from Pacific Rim: Uprising‘s relationship between John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Cailee Spaeny (The Shoes). The relationship between Tye Sheridan (Mud) and Olivia Cooke (Thoroughbreds) feels forced, and in the film adaptation, don’t have nearly as much chemistry.
The supporting cast is rounded-out well, with the likes of Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), and T.J. Miller (Deadpool). Mendelsohn delivers a solid performance as the main antagonist and shows the true face of the corporate world we live in; he is slowly becoming one of my favorite people to see play a villain. With the exception of Aech/H, I wanted to see more from these characters and more often than not, felt like they were simply shallow. There are whole scene transitions that don’t make sense and significant plot points within the story that aren’t covered enough; and yet, the runtime of the movie is 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Overall, if you are a fan of movies, games, and video games, you are going to find something to enjoy in Ready Player One. One sequence, or scene rather, had me on the edge of my seat. I saw this in 3D IMAX, and I must say, I jumped twice during this scene. The posse I saw the movie with had previously read the book (I have not) and claimed that they changed quite a few things, but that everything still worked well for the overall final product of the movie. Don’t expect depth, but do expect kick-ass throwbacks and a hell of a lot of fun.