In 2011, author/screenwriter, Ernest Cline, published his first novel called, “Ready Player One.” The Story is set in The 2040’s about a teenager named, Wade Watts, who embarks on a quest, organized by late co-creator/game designer, Haliday, to retrieve an egg in a virtual world called, The OASIS. It’s a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO for short) virtual reality game. Whoever retrieves The Egg, earns a lifetime supply of money, plus ownership of The OASIS.
If you don’t get The Basic Concept, it is best described as Charlie & The Chocolate Factory meets Tron.
Ernest’s debut novel became an unexpected hit, encouraging real life game designers to develop innovative technology such as The Oculus Rift, The PlayStation VR & developing video games exclusive to Virtual Reality format.
A film adaptation was in the works since Warner Bros. (WB for short) bought the film rights at an auction before Ernest published it. Steven Spielberg signed on to direct, upon seeing his wife Kate Capshaw, reading the book with audio commentary. Steven himself, is also a fan of video games since he started playing Pong while taking breaks on the set of Jaws. I’m not gonna lie, he even developed a video games series called Modern Warfare & co-produce for DreamWorks Interactive, a video game company affiliated with Steven’s company known as DreamWorks.
Ready Player One premiered early in South By Southwest, (SXSW for short) located in Austin, Texas. That’s the state I’m from, to put the icing on the cake, Tye Sheridan (young Cyclops from X-Men: Apocalypse) is also a native Texan himself! Why didn’t I get invited, I live twenty miles away from Dallas! Joe Vargas/Angry Joe is from Austin, Texas, I’m so jealous that he got to see Steven Spielberg attending with The Cast!
This review doesn’t have any huge SPOILERS. If you never read the book or seen the movie, feel free to read this article.
Winner & Loser Qualities
Winner: Cast Members such as Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, T.J. Miller, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg & Mark Rylance all did an excellent job on their respective performances.
Steven Spielberg, did a fantastic job on directing.
Ernest Cline himself, wrote the screenplay alongside screenwriter, Zak Penn.
Action Sequences managed to keep me on the edge of my seat without desperately going to a nearby toilet.
Humor is filled with pop culture references combined with witty dialogue.
Visual Effects looked extremely gorgeous like the environmental detail in The OASIS, character designs & locations from both reality & virtual world. I’m giving the team behind The Special Effects, a bunch of Bonus Points for taking their time on polishing every single detail.
Composer, Alan Silvestri, (Back To The Future Trilogy, Predator, The Avengers) wrote instrumental pieces for the film.
An item called “The Zemeckis Cube,” is named after Back To The Future director, Robert Zemeckis. As an inside joke, Steven Spielberg also produced The Back To The Future Trilogy.
The film features popular songs from The 80’s.
Cinematography contains a lot of beautiful shots from The OASIS.
Numerous Easter Eggs such as The DeLoreon, fictional characters & visual images are depicted in almost every single scene. Once the movie comes out on Blu-Ray/DVD, be sure to grab your remote to pause the film so you can spot a bunch of juicy details onscreen!
Ben Mendelsohn’s character, Nolan Sorrent, is perhaps an inside joke on Ben, who used to work with Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight Rises. Speaking of Nolan, Chris’ brother Jonathan, finished HBO’s Westworld Season 2, it’ll air one week before Avengers: Infinity War comes out. I’m definitely giving this movie Extra Points for making me mentally squee as a huge fan of The Nolan Brothers!
Several DC Comics characters including Joker & Harley Quinn appear in this film. Deahstroke (My favorite DC villain) makes an appearance as well.
T.J. Miller’s character, I-R0k, hunts down a character named Wade. I sense a meta-reference involving T.J. Miller’s character Weasel from Deadpool, who’s best friends with Wade Wilson/Deadpool. Deadpool 2 comes out this May!
Nolan is heavily based on video games companies known for adding micro-transactions, most notably, Electronic Arts. (EA for short) Both Nolan & EA represent greed.
Mark Rylance’s character, James Halliday, is a mixture of wealthy groundbreaking inventors most notably, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs & Howard Hughes.
Fun Fact: Before Mark signed on board, Gene Wilder was originally considered to play Halliday, but he declined, perhaps he didn’t want to participate in this film due to suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. After Gene’s death, The Markering Team paid tribute to him by playing an instrumental version of “Pure Imagination” from the original Willy Wonka film.
One scene pays tribute to one of Stanley Kubrick’s films. Spielberg was good friends with Stanley and helped finished his pet project, A.I. Artificial Intelligence after Kubrick’s untimely death.
There’s a Plot Twist near the end. I refuse to tell you all about it, you’re gonna have to see for yourself.
Loser: One of the main characters unexpectedly earns himself an early girlfriend. I’ve counted how many days they’ve known each other, probably four. In real life, it’ll take a week or a month to get to know one another properly. Sorry Mr. Spielberg, I have to put this point down, because I hate early relationships.
The Final Verdict: A-
Despite only one gripe listed as a flaw, Ready Player One is a successful film adaptation. Performances from The Main Cast were excellent. Action Sequences are combined with kinetic Special Effects. Steven Spielberg did a fantastic directing and double checked on the source material as a guide to make the film reflect the nature of the book. As a gamer & movie goers myself, my brain was internally swelling from non-stop pop culture references in a positive way. When the film comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray, I will perhaps buy it to look for hidden Easter Eggs.
If you’re both a gamer and fan of science fiction, this is a must see movie. If you have nothing to do over the weekend. I implore you to get off your butt and take your friends and family to support this movie immediately. Trust me, you’re gonna have a wonderful time distracted by the visuals!