Ready Player One Review

Ready Player One - Poster #1

Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One” became a New York Times best-seller because of its nostalgic and geek driven storyline. Many praised the book for the way it seamlessly crammed a plethora of pop culture references. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood would come through with a live-action adaptation. Despite its popularity, no one guessed that the legendary Steven Spielberg would be the master and commander of this pop culture ship. It’s too good to be true and yet, here we are. But does Spielberg recapture the same magic that heavily influenced the book it’s based on?

Yes, he does. Of course, Ready Player One isn’t the instant classic as his 80s films were, but the film does recapture the fun side of Spielberg that we haven’t seen in quite a long time. Buckle up because it’s going to be one hell of a nostalgic trip through the OASIS.

Ready Player One follows Wade Watts, a player who, like everyone else, finds salvation on the OASIS. When James Halliday, the virtual world’s founder, died, he left behind a series of clues that’ll lead to a digital Easter egg. The finder of this Easter egg will inherit the multi-trillion dollar company he has left behind. When Watts decides to join the hunt, he is thrown into an adventure that’ll forever determine the fate of the OASIS.

Ready Player One - Sho, Aech, Parzival, Art3mis, and Daito

Next to Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One is one of the most ambitious films in recent memory. As someone who has never read the book though, I can’t really comment on how close the book resembles the film. What I can tell you is that Ready Player One does utilize all of the various IPs they got and utilizes it really well. That is to say, the film is a non-stop pop culture fest. Throughout the film, a barrage of pop culture references comes at you from all different angles. Ranging from video games to movies, seemingly every scene has some sort of Easter egg to any eagle-eyed fan.

The best part about it is that these references aren’t too in-your-face. They’re either subtle, in the background, or a part of the story. The singular problem with all these references is that it makes the narrative a little jarring at times because of its frenetic editing. In addition, the characters are pretty simple themselves. There isn’t much depth to any of these characters.

But like the Easter eggs, classic films, including Spielberg’s own, have a heavy influence on the film. This homage completely simplifies the storyline so don’t expect a complex storyline. Be that as it may, the journey to find the three keys is a fascinating one. There’s a level of mystery and intrigue with each and every single Easter egg clue. Thankfully, Halliday is such an interesting character that you want to know more about the Easter eggs that pertain to his past.

Despite all that, the film has an underlying message that’s very important for today’s connected society. Not to mention, it sheds light on some of the obsessive gaming disorders that haunt some people. The story may be simple but its messages are much more important.

Ready Player One - Olivia Cooke and Tye Sheridan

When it comes to the cast, everyone practically embodies the virtual and realistic versions of their characters. Despite Tye Sheridan’s monotonous voice in all of the trailers, it doesn’t do his performance any justice. Sheridan in such a geeky and nerdy way that you might find a lot of similarities between his character and yourself. Not to mention, he brings a vulnerable and shy side to him. Unfortunately, he doesn’t convey a lot of emotion in this film.

Olivia Cooke does well playing the strong female type in the film. Unlike Sheridan, she conveys a wide array of emotions in the film. Which isn’t surprising since her character is the most well-rounded among them all. In addition, the chemistry between Sheridan and Cookie is palpable. Lena Waithe is quite hilarious as Parzival’s best friend, Aech. She is especially hilarious during the second act of the film.

Ben Mendelsohn finally gets the villainous role right. Unlike his lackluster performance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Mendelsohn is cunning and devious as Sorrento. He plays the sleazy character so well that it may remind you of some of the sleazy corporate businessmen who run the infamous game companies. If you’re an avid gamer, you know exactly who I’m talking about.

But the biggest surprise lies with the performance by Mark Rylance. His dry sense of humor and his man-child personality just makes you like the character. Also, as I said above, the film wouldn’t work at all if you didn’t like the Halliday character. And the reason you do is all because of Mark Rylance’s performance.

Overall, Ready Player One is a fun nostalgic journey through pop culture’s finest. From the music to the imagery, it just breathes fun. It’s amazing to think that Spielberg hasn’t made this type of film in a very long time. Sure, there are flaws in the film but you’ll be having too much of a good time to notice. It’s a nerd’s dream come true.

Rating: 4/5 atoms

About author

Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1260 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.