Ready Player One is a Science Fiction Adventure film, produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie is set in a near future world where people immerse themselves in a virtual world known as the OASIS in order to escape the decaying conditions of the real world. The movie is a very loose adaptation of the book of the same title by Ernest Cline.
This might not be a perfect movie, but I had a really good time watching it. Ready Player One is a really exciting ride from start to finish. And Spielberg has recaptured the old magic he had with films like Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
If you are a fan of the book, like I am, keep in mind the movie changes things drastically. It stays on the same premise but makes some huge changes at the same time. Good thing is, the changes they made from the book were perfect for the movie. Besides, the whole plot revolves around countless copyrighted works, and they probably had little say over what works they would actually get licenses for.
The main cast of Ready Player One is terrific. Tye Sheridan made a really good job playing the protagonist Wade Watts/Parzival. Mark Rylance killed it playing the eccentric billionaire and OASIS creator James Donovan Halliday. His performance playing a person on the autism spectrum was so convincing and touching. The movie also did a much better job with Samantha/Art3mis, who no longer feels just like a prize for Wade. But rather, a character who actually does things that are important to the overall story. T.J. Miller and Lena Waithe also gave stellar performances as the comedy relief characters, i-R0k and Aech respectively.
The movie moves at a pretty fast pace which is good considering it’s more than 2 hours long. The visuals are gorgeous and I loved the action scenes too. In my opinion, had anyone but Spielberg directed this it would probably have stunk. He was the perfect choice to bring this story to the big screen.
The first challenge race was one of the coolest, most fun action sequences I've seen in a long time. And the battle on Planet Doom, in the end, was amazing too. Part of the fun of the movie for me was scanning the various scenes in the movie for pop-culture references. And the Doom's planet battle was simply perfect for that. I was surprised to see so many references to things that weren't owned by WB. And I can only imagine that this was a licensing nightmare.
But the best part of the movie for me was The Shining sequence (The Shining is one of my favorite films of all time). It took me completely by surprise. They nailed the look so well with what I'm assuming, is a digital recreation of the movie set.
Ready Player One has also one of the most realistic portrayals of the future I've seen in a movie in quite some time. Mega-corporations run everything, poverty is rampant, the environment is ruined and everybody is addicted to electronics. So yeah, not so different from our current reality.
However, there are some problems with the movie. A few parts felt rushed and a couple of supporting characters were introduced too quickly and weakly. The flick has some cheesy and corny scenes that really shouldn't be in movies anymore. The love angle between the two leads didn't really work for me and it felt really forced. Sorento, the villain, let me down too. I feel both IRL and in the OASIS he was a weak character. Also, as someone who's read the book, one small thing that bothered me was the fact that they didn't include the Og's birthday party. I was really looking forward to seeing that scene. But these are just a few nitpicks of mine. And apart from that, I had a really good time watching the movie.
Overall Ready Player One is a very enjoyable film. And as a visual spectacle, it is amongst one of the best movies I have seen. Steven Spielberg managed to take an impossible-to-adapt book and created a magical world. Sometimes it is easy to forget that he is the king of the blockbuster. But he totally reminded us with this flick.
People who love to hate the book, will love to hate the film too. You know, haters gonna hate. But give it a chance and I bet you will have fun. I can definitely see myself watching it over and over again to find more easter eggs.