Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a novel with such intricate parts and such nostalgia it should be next to impossible to film. In the hands of most directors it would have failed, luckily for Warner Bros. and us as an audience the great Steven Spielberg stepped up. However is this massive task of bringing a world filled with wonder and excitement, too much for the veteran director?
Ready Player One follows Wade Watts in the year 2045, where the world is in decline and people fill their time in the OASIS, a virtual world where everything is possible and the only limits are people’s imagination. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he releases his will to challenge all the users of the OASIS to find his very own Easter Egg inside the game, whoever wins becomes the new owner.
The OASIS is filled with gaming and pop culture references that will always leave you with a smile of nostalgia. When we are transported to the OASIS, the computer animation and voice acting is pretty much spot on. A lot of the humour comes from Spielberg’s direction especially from when we see people in the real world reacting to the events within the OASIS. Without giving too much away there is a scene about halfway through that pays homage to one of the best horror movies of all time: this is the true highlight of the film that I’m sure everyone will enjoy.
In the real world, everyone gives a performance that they can be proud of, particularly Mark Rylance who plays James Halliday. Rylance’s performance is filled with wisdom and creativity but it’s clear to see the moments of vulnerability and clumsiness that could only be put across from a performer like Rylance. Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke give adequate performances that they can be proud of and prove that they can lead a film quite comfortably in the future. Simon Pegg also makes an appearance and although much more subtle then what you would expect from the actor, it pays off in an amazing way towards the end of the movie.
Where the film falls a bit short is in the real world. The OASIS is such a joy to explore because it has such elaborate details hidden within. When the film transitions back to the real world, however, it falls a bit flat because it’s not as fully explored. Being a dystopian world you would hope Spielberg would explore that a little more and answer questions about how it came to be.
The action sequences are very good in both the real world and the OASIS and have that classic Steven Spielberg touch you would expect. Although the script relishes in funny one-liners, these can sometimes become a little too cheesy in their delivery.
Steven Spielberg took on an impossible task and does justice to the novel and everyone should really appreciate the genius of the man. He’s created a world that everyone would dream to be part of, and I urge every person who is a fan of his work, or a major lover of pop culture to go and watch this epic tale. I would also like to plug the book, as it does differ from the film enough for you to give it a try, and you will not be disappointed if you enjoyed the movie.
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Steven Spielberg is undoubtedly the king of blockbuster cinema. In fact, some cinema aficionados have suggested that he was the mastermind behind the big summer tent-pole movie with his 1975 classic, Jaws.
Of course, his career is now legend and with films like Jurassic Park, E.T., Schindler’s List and Indiana Jones on his CV, it’s easy to see why. That makes it even more strange that his box-office pulling power seems to have been in doubt more recently. So, he’s decided to go back to doing what he does best, big blockbuster spectacle.
Ready Player One is an absolute thrill-ride from start to finish and is pure Spielberg in the very best way. Like he did way back in 1993 with Jurassic Park and even further back still in 1982 with E.T., he somehow manages to create a world that is truly magical, but entirely believable. No director working today has the ability to change his craft to suit the genre, but Spielberg manages it time and time again and Ready Player One is his best film in years.
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