Ready Player One (2018)

ready player one poster 2018 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun references

Fun references only get the movie so far

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Ready Player One

Studio:   Amblin Entertainment

Genre(s):   Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):   March 11, 2018 (South by Southwest)/March 29, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:   PG-13

ready player one tye sheridan wade watts

I can’t wait to get out of the real world where I can be anything!

Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) lives with his aunt in the “Stacks” outside of Columbus, Ohio in 2045.  Wade (like many) spends much of his time in the OASIS where as Parzival, he and his friends are trying to seek the legendary three keys of the OASIS’s creator James “Anorak” Halliday (Mark Rylance) to unlock his ultimate Easter Egg…ownership of the OASIS.  When Parzival begins working with another gamer named Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), the first key is found and the game is on!  Unfortunately, the evil corporation Innovative Online Industries will stop at nothing to gain control of OASIS and the CEO Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) will use all of IOI’s resources to find it…even if it means taking the battle to the real world!

ready player one avatar parzival

Awesome…a generic guy picked a generic avatar!

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One is a science-fiction action-adventure fantasy.  It adapts the critically acclaimed 2011 novel by Ernest Cline and was released to mixed reviews.  The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects.

To be up front, I have not read the novel Ready Player One.  It is one of those situations where I have to gauge 1) Wait till I read the novel and be disappointed in the adaptation 2) See the movie and then be wowed by the novel or 3) See the movie and then have it taint the perception of the novel or lead me never to read the novel at all.  I opted to see the movie, and I hear “the novel is better than the movie” (like most times), but it is a disappointment that the movie seems to be mostly flash.

ready player one iron giant

Love some Iron Giant

I am not a fan of The Family GuyThe Family Guy relies on nostalgia to propel the episodes usually at the cost of developing the story.  Ready Player One seems to rely heavily on this idea.  While it is fun to scan the screen for references, it seems to fail the story which is all over the place and often lacks in logic.  Wouldn’t more than one person have “one-ups”?  Does zeroing out really mean much since people can respawn (especially if you are an IOI worker…do you just not have any personal belongings)?  If avatars can be almost any size/shape why would IOI utilize people with scrawny avatars like Art3mis for manual labor in the OASIS? With the whole world playing and almost everyone searching for the keys, OASIS should be crawling with people…you can barely go anywhere in World of Warcraft now and it is a small part of the population, some idiot or goofball would have gone in reverse just to screw with things.  This doesn’t even get into the real world aspect where I think everyone would be on almost constant surveillance or at least trackable through the OASIS and IOI technology.  There is no privacy now.  Why would there be privacy in the rotten 2045 future?

ready player one chucky childs play

Hi, I’m Chucky…wanna play!!!

The cast is alright.  Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke are rather generic leads and are mostly on screen as their stand in avatars (so it is essentially like watching a Pixar movie).  Lena Waithe seems pushed to the edge of her acting ability by her role and Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance are almost acting in a different film (a straight-up comedy).  Ben Mendelsohn also can’t decide if he wants to play the role as serious or comedic.  With the tone of the movie in flux the actors seem to be bending between The Goonies (comedy with action) and a kid’s version of The Matrix (action).

ready player one wade watts tye sheridan

Push play? Yes or no?

The movie is a lot of eye candy but not necessarily in the way that the filmmakers wanted.  Yes, they want the movie dissected frame by frame to see the pop culture references, but the movie just looks like every computer animated movie.  I didn’t feel that it was very innovative on the visuals…it just succeeded in getting the rights to everything from Battletoads to Madballs.

Ready Player One wasn’t an awful film.  It did have some fun moments, but it could not decide what it wanted to b.  You have the violent blowing up people by a corporate entity behaving like a terrorist and wacky kids adventure.  The movie’s desperate bid to be a modern day Goonies fails and instead it feels like you are left with a bland, paste imitation.  It is like you showed up for school in 1988 with a Keeper Trapper instead of a Trapper Keeper…something that the characters in the movie would be horrified by.  With a sequel to the novel in the works and a strong outing, I can see Ready Player One returning…I just don’t know that it should.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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