Movie Review: “Ready Player One”

Tom Capone, Contributing Writer | 

“Ready Player One” is the latest film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is based on the novel of the same name written by Ernest Cline. With this film, Spielberg has created an incredibly fun adventure film, a genre not seen too often in modern day Hollywood.

The film follows the journey of Wade Watts, played by Tye Sheridan, who lives in Columbus, OH in the year 2045. Wade spends most of his time in the OASIS, an online virtual reality world where players can go anywhere and do anything they wish.

The film starts off with Wade informing the audience that, immediately following his death five years ago, the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, announced a hunt for an Easter egg in the OASIS. The person who finds the egg will inherit Halliday’s fortune and assume complete control of the OASIS, which launched Wade on a mission to find the egg.

One of the biggest criticisms before the film was released was that it was going to be nothing but a bunch of references to 80’s pop culture. However, every 80’s reference is something that is in some way important to the film’s characters, such as the DeLorean from “Back to the Future” or the Iron Giant from “The Iron Giant.”

Overall, the cast gives a solid performance. While no one really stands out as being fantastic, no one stands out for being terrible either. The cast was well chosen, as each of the movie’s characters look and act similar to how they do in the novel.

Spielberg is able to craft some incredibly entertaining action sequences throughout the film. At the same time, the action does not undermine the overall themes of the film, such as the value of friendship or the concept of large corporations taking over.

There are some themes in the novel that did not make it into the movie, though they probably should have. One such theme is classism. In the novel, the presence of conflicting social classes is shown by characters needing money or the in-game currency in order to travel to certain planets in the OASIS. These circumstances are only hinted at in the film.

Spielberg does an excellent job at keeping the audience engaged, even in the world of the OASIS, where everything is digitally created. This concept of a “false reality” could very easily remove a viewer from the film and prevent them from connecting with the characters, but Spielberg manages to prevent this.

While the film does capture the main elements of the novel, there are many differences between the novel and the film, which is to be expected when transitioning from a book to the big screen. For example, there is a part in the novel that involves a 1980’s movie, which is changed to a different 1980s movie in the film. While the scene is still a great one, some book readers may be upset by the change.

At the end of the day, a person’s enjoyment of the film will likely depend on whether or not they mind the discrepancies between the film and the novel.

“Ready Player One” is an incredibly fun adventure film that does have some important messages, even if they are not relayed as clearly as they could be. The film earns an eight out of ten.

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