Steven Spielberg (a.k.a. The GOAT) is bringing wonder and imagination back to the big screen with the release of Ready Player One. This film is set in 2045 in Columbus, Ohio when the inventor of a virtual world called The Oasis has recently passed away. Before he died, he created a giant Easter egg hunt for all of the players. The one who found the easter egg would inherit control of The Oasis and all of the wealth and fame that comes along with it.
For the first half of the movie I was completely invested and was thinking that this could be the best movie I saw all year. I think the biggest reason for that is how much I enjoyed The Oasis. However, the later in the movie we got, the more screen time was spent in the real world. Unfortunately for the movie, the parts that took place in the real world were far less compelling than The Oasis parts. I can understand why Spielberg might purposely try to make The Oasis seem much more exciting. If the real world was just as colorful and exciting as The Oasis then no one would want to spend a lot of time in The Oasis.
Ready Player One had a movie budget of $175M and it felt to me like 90% of it went into the CG behind The Oasis. I wasn’t impressed with the acting performances by any of the lead actors. Tye Sheridan was the main character (Wade) and he was fine, but I couldn’t get away from thinking that he only was cast for the part because of how well he wore those goggles in X-Men: Apocalypse. (Ready Player One on the bottom, X-Men on the top)
Spoiler Alert: Only read the next section if you have already seen the movie.
My absolute least favorite part of this whole film was the scene where Wade/Parzival was receiving the Easter egg from Halliday. Sorento was approaching Wade’s van with the intention of killing him when a crowd of people cuts him off. The crowd seemed like they meant business and Sorento looked flustered, then he just pulled out his gun and held it in the air and everyone got out of his way. He literally walked through the crowd right to the van with the gun in his hand and not a single person yelled: ” Wade watch out!” or made any attempt to stop him. He then opens the back of the van and pointed the gun at Wade and still, the crowd was silent. That was a big writing error in my view because I found the crowd’s reaction to Sorento’s little pistol to be completely unrealistic.
I really, really enjoyed this movie. The CGI for The Oasis was absolutely amazing and the references were super fun and brought me a lot of nostalgia. It was exciting, funny and full of action-packed scenes. I would honestly relate it a lot to a much better version of Spy Kids 3D. The amount of detail that went into designing the virtual world is honestly pretty incredible. The visuals were beautiful and most of the characters were interesting and fairly well developed. I mentioned that I felt like the acting was pretty low budget and cheesy, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the characters. I thought the dynamic between the “High Five” was fun and I liked how all of the members complemented each other well.
About an hour into the film I started needing to pee. The problem was, I didn’t feel like I could leave the theater without missing something important. When it comes to making the film interesting, a great indicator is if someone can zone out on some of it and not miss anything. Ready Player One was so interesting that I didn’t feel like I could leave to use the bathroom, so I held it until the end.
The concept of this film will be found interesting to just about any crowd. If I wanted to single out a group of people that this film is specifically targeting, it would have to be 80s-90s kids like myself. However, there are things in this movie that cater to older crowds as well as things that cater to younger crowds.
While this may not end up being my top movie of the year come December, Ready Player One is definitely a must watch and is loads of fun for all ages. Immerse yourself in a world of possibilities in The Oasis. Sit back and enjoy as an obnoxious (yet fun) amount of classic nerd references are thrown at you, some of which you will understand and others will go right over your head. I will definitely be buying this one on Blu-Ray.