In the future, life is so bleak, everyone hangs out in the virtual reality of the Oasis. There, everything is focused around the 80’s pop culture that it’s creator, Halliday was obsessed with. People have video game avatars inspired by various films and they spend all their time and money in the Oasis. Upon his death, Halliday announced a competition to find an Easter Egg that grants the winner the ownership of Halliday’s fortune and the Oasis itself.
Apparently, it was so hard, only a few people are still trying. On one side are folks like Wade (in the Oasis he goes by the name Parzival) and his friends Aech, Sho and Daito. The other involves an evil corporation run by Sorrento that wants the Oasis to exploit it. Wade pines for the mysterious and legendary Art3mis.
I am going to be honest here. I tried reading the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I could not finish it. It was absolutely awful. So, filtering it through Steven Spielberg is probably a necessary move. Because the movie is not totally terrible.
It has some really dumb stuff. I mean, Wade is obsessed with Art3mis but has only known her avatar. In real life she
is disfigured has a birth mark on her face. This is how we know how big of a guy Wade is…he doesn’t care. He still thinks she is beautiful. This is Olivia Cooke, who plays the character:
So…yeah…he is a prince. The film is obsessed with filling every shot in the Oasis with pop culture references. We see King Kong, Chucky, Freddy, endless video game characters, Parcival drives the delorean from Back to the Future, Art3mis drives the motorcycle from Akira, we see the van from the A-Team and the Batmobile. It becomes sensory overload.
The characters are very, very by the book and not terribly interesting.
I mean, the most interesting characters are Aech, Sho and Daito. And the cast is all pretty good. I mean, you have a supporting cast that includes Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, Ben Mendelsohn and Lena Waithe.
The visuals are top notch. I mean, the action scenes are fun to watch for the most part.
So, basically, Ready Player One is okay. Better than it’s source material, but pretty well below some of Spielberg’s strongest popcorn material.