Ready Player One
By James Davidson
Steven Spielberg’s newest film, Ready Player One, is an adaptation from Ernest Cline’s science fiction novel of the same name. The movie follows Wade Watts (played by Tye Sheridan), a young man living in Columbus, Ohio in the year 2045.
Watts, like everyone else in the world, is obsessed with a virtual reality video game called, the Oasis. The Oasis has evolved into more than just a game, as the entire world uses it for work, shopping, and recreation in their everyday lives. In fact, most people seem to spend more time in the Oasis than in the real world. In the Oasis, Wade is known as Parzival.
The Oasis was created by Roy Halladay (played by Mark Rylance), who recently died and has left his fortune, as well as control of the Oasis, to whoever can find three keys that he has hidden in the game. In order to find the keys, contestants must solve clues and challenges based on events that happened in Halladay’s life.
Since most of the film takes place in the Oasis, the director chose to use a lot of computer generated imaging (i.e. CGI) to create the illusion of being inside of a video game. The CGI does look and feel like a video game, but seems to take away from some of the cinematic feel of the film and seems a little overdone. Other than the overuse of CGI, the visuals are very aesthetically pleasing.
The film is two hours and twenty minutes long and the plot moves very quickly. There are not a lot of wasted scenes or pointless characters who waste time. There are a lot of pop culture references and cameos in the movie but they are used in a way that does not overshadow the story or main characters.
Once Wade starts on his quest to find the keys, he is joined by a few friends he met in the Oasis; Aech (played by Lena Waithe), Daito (Win Morisaki), Sho (Phillip Zhao), and Art3mis (Olivia Cooke). Most of these characters are fun but are introduced suddenly. Parzival and Art3mis develop a romantic relationship which feels forced on the audience and isn’t truly given time to develop.
The main antagonist in the movie is Sorrento (played by Ben Mendelsohn). He works for a company called Innovative Online Industries (IOI). IOI wants to find the keys at any cost so that they can take control of the Oasis in order to sell advertising and charge people to use this free service; two things that Halladay, the creator of the Oasis, was very much against. Halladay was very intent on allowing everyone to be able to use his creation, no strings attached.
Sorrento is a very dislikeable character because he will do anything, including physical harm, to find the keys. He also has experts on Halladay finding the clues for him, instead of doing it for himself, which is considered unfair by all other players of the game.
“Ready Player One” is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence,bloody images,some suggestive material, partial nudity, and language.
The film follows the novel very loosely. So if you read the novel, go into the movie expecting a completely independent story from the book that is still very fun and entertaining. “Ready Player One” is an enjoyable film that does feel a little heavy on the CGI and lacks a little character development. It earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.