In 2045, the world is going through a massive recession. As a result, a lot of people are living in slums known as the “Stacks”, which consists of trailers stacked on top of each other. To escape their hardships of everyday life, many people are playing a virtual MMO game known as the OASIS, including 18-year-old Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan).
After the passing of OASIS co-creator James Halliday (Mark Rylance), it is announced that he has included a new hidden mission within the game. The first person to successfully complete the mission will get to inherit the game. Wade Watts, along with his friends of course, sets out on a quest to complete the mission.
The best thing about Ready Player One are its visuals. Since the movie takes place inside a MMO game, the movie immerses the viewer into its digital world. Normally, I would have a problem with excessive CGI, but it works well since it mostly takes place in the virtual world of the OASIS. There are lot of great sequences within this movie. For example, there’s a great scene involving a level that is based on the Overlook Hotel from The Shining.
When the trailer for this movie was first released, it received a lot of scrutiny on the Internet for its numerous pop culture references. However, they are the least of the movie’s problems as they are mainly in the background. I would compare Ready Player One to Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Wreck-It Ralph respectively. Plus, it makes sense within the context of the movie, especially when it comes to avatar and mod customizations.
The movie also has a solid supporting cast. It’s nice to see Mark Rylance in a Spielberg movie again since his performances in The BFG and Bridge of Spies. He does a fine job in portraying a socially awkward yet endearing character like Halliday. Simon Pegg also does a fine job as the character Ogden Morrow in this movie despite his questionable American accent.
The good news about Ready One Player is that it’s a classic Spielberg movie. The bad news is that it’s a classic Spielberg movie. Let me explain…
The movie has a rather paint-by-numbers plot. Although it’s essentially a plot that’s been done to death (i.e. a kid takes on an evil corporation with the help of his quirky sidekicks), it does nothing new with it. I might be nitpicking here, but I felt the stakes within this movie weren’t that interesting. The main threat of this movie isn’t the characters potentially dying in real life or a complete breakdown of society, but rather an asshole corporation taking over the game.
Another complaint I have with this movie is its development (or lack thereof) of the main character Wade. The movie does not go into detail with the main character’s home life as well as the environment he lives in. Instead, the movie focuses mainly on the OASIS. I won’t go into detail, but when something happens to Wade’s family, it is quickly tossed aside as if nothing happened at all.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Although Ready Player One is a case of style over substance, it is an entertaining movie.