Opinion & Review

Review: Ready Player One

 

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Main characters in the Oasis. Image courtesy of TheVerge.com

 

Virtual reality, imagination, power, struggle. “Ready Player One” has it all. The Steven Spielberg directed 140-minute blockbuster is a must see sci-fi adventure that will leave viewers hanging on the edge of their seats.

Based on the best- selling book by Ernest Cline, “Ready Player One” takes place in the year 2045, where the real world is a rundown wasteland. In order to seek reprieve, the people of the real world play in a virtual world called the Oasis, which has seemingly taken over reality.

In fact, it seems as though what was once the real world has now become the Oasis.

In the Oasis, anything is possible. All reality within the Oasis is uncontainable because people are able to do things like look any way they want and do anything they want. In the Oasis, the limits are from the players’ own imaginations.

Currency and fame are everything in the Oasis. Those who have nothing in the real world can be famous in the Oasis just by gaining attention and money. Similar to the real world, however, if someone is “eliminated,” all the fame and currency is lost.

James Halliday, a genius programmer and creator of the Oasis, died and hid a special key within the Oasis. Whoever finds the key will be the heir to Halliday’s huge fortune as well as have control over the Oasis. This begins a frenzy within the Oasis as all push to find this hidden key.  

An unlikely teenage hero named Wade Watts rises to the top as he soon reaches number one on the leaderboard, becoming the top player and earning respect throughout the Oasis. However, those who reach fame will have haters and people who want to tear them down. This is where the journey begins.

Wade strives to win the hidden key as he is a know-it-all fanboy of creator James Halliday. The wealth would also help his very poor family, who he knows could use the money.

However, we eventually see Wade’s motives change as he tries to find the key for a greater purpose, to preserve the Oasis from the hands of evil. Wade must keep the key out of the hands of Nolan Sorrento, who has built up an army of players to help him.

Nolan and his army want the key at all costs, even attempting to harm Wade in the real world in order to find it.

Together, Wade and his group of four other players battle in and out of reality as they strive to find the hidden key and keep the Oasis in good hands.

The movie uses some very unique elements to make it so enchanting. I was very impressed with the nostalgic feelings that took place while watching this movie, particularly when the characters play through a nightmare level taking place in Stephen King’s “The Shining”. The movie also includes scenes like Wade being chased by Godzilla to cross the finish line and reach number one,  and Aech, Wade’s companion building an Iron Giant suit.

The movie was filled with CGI effects to give it those dramatic animations we see on screen. At the same time, however, the movie includes a pleasant mix of reality to switch back and forth between two separate dystopias.

I was surprised to watch Wade and his pals complete a challenge in the Oasis, basking in the fame and glory, only to switch back to a scene in reality showing Wade in his run-down van playing the game. This kept me engaged as colors and sights were constantly changing on screen while the real life wasteland is shown.

It was almost as if the entire movie was a roller coaster ride, with viewers being inside the ride itself. Sounds, lights, and fights keep viewers in the action as they feel like they too are battling in the Oasis.  “Ready Player One” is a delightfully action-packed thrill ride that will get the adrenaline rushing.

The acting in this film was one of the reasons why it was so engaging. Ty Sheridan did a great job playing the part of Wade Watts, our main character and hero. The outfits he wore gave the movie the “wasteland” feeling, and his curious nature perfectly portrayed the naive yet noble Watts.

Olivia Cooke also performed well as the role of Samantha Cook, Wade’s female companion throughout the movie. An actress similar in age to Sheridan, Cooke’s resilient and top-tier acting put her in the shoes of Samantha Cooke.   

Ben Mendelsohn did an excellent job in his role as Nolan Sorrento. He portrayed the perfect “working style” businessman that would be sure to put a damper on the efforts of Wade and his group. His character was very easy for me to dislike, making it easy to root for Wade on his journey.

Overall, I think Spielberg did a great job directing Cline’s novel, and I was impressed with the good acting and directing in the film. The visual effects kept me engaged through the whole movie and are like nothing I have seen before. “Ready Player One” is sure to make a splash in theaters.

Categories: Opinion & Review

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