Ready Player One Review


courtesy of NY Times


“Jaws”. “E.T.” “Jurassic Park”. Trying to list the filmography of Steven Spielberg, one would usually only list the ones that they remember. Most people don’t remember Spielberg’s lesser known films, such as “BFG”, “Amistad”, or “Always”. With Spielberg’s newest film “Ready Player One”, I ask the question of if it will be remembered and adored by movie lovers or left in the bargain bins at your local Walmart.

The movie is set in a futuristic Earth where humans are so bored with real life that they escape to a virtual reality called The Oasis, where they can do whatever they want and be whoever they want. In the story, we follow Wade Watts played by Tye Sheridan, an orphan who lives with his aunt and spends most his time in The Oasis, as he tries to find the hidden Easter eggs in the game that will reward him with lots of money. Very little time is really spent on character development, just enough to know who each character is, but the movie doesn’t really try to make you fall in love with the characters. The movie tries to catch the heart of the viewers by making lots of pop culture references, but most of the references are either from the 80’s or form the late 2000’s. The main character drives a DeLorean and usually wears outfits inspired by an 80’s movie like Buckaroo Banzai. His best friend, Aech played by Lena Waithe, has a virtual workshop where Aech builds vehicles from pop culture like spaceships from Star Trek and the Iron Giant. The first we see of The Oasis we see a space dedicated to Minecraft right off the bat. One could call this movie, “Pop Culture, Easter Eggs and references: The Movie” and it would be accurate.

The movie also likes to stick to the rule of Chekhov’s gun, which is if you set something up in a story or bring a new variable into a story, then you must use it. Otherwise it is pointless to bring it up in the first place, like putting a gun on a shelf then the gun being used later in a story. The movie follows this principle like it is a religious text which is something that I really have to commend the movie for. Most other movies would just write itself in the corner and make something up to get out, while this movie will set up all the things that will be used pretty early in the story.

The story itself is unbelievable at times. The first Easter eggs in the story took people years to find, and it’s basically hidden behind a wall that one can walk through. In reality, that Easter egg would have been found nearly instantly, due to all the people who take video games way too seriously or the hackers who just want to troll people. Also, no person would just give their whole company to some random person after they die. Most people would choose a person before they die and that person would probably be someone they know really well.

Though “Ready Player One” has some shortcomings, I say that it very well does live up to the Spielberg name.The visuals in the movie are stunning, and even though I think there are too many pop culture references I can’t help but feel nostalgic towards them. I definitely would watch this movie over “BFG”.