I know that Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One gets a lot of negative criticism; too much reliance on nostalgia,overly simplistic writing, tons of tropes. It is an easy book to hate on but let’s be realistic, Cline’s novel is a ton of fun to read and it does have a gripping plot. Inevitably an adaptation was bound to happen and Steven Spielberg is probably the best person to direct this type of film. Also it is worth noting that Ernest Cline wrote the screenplay so I guess any changes to the book were officially overseen by Cline.
Like the book, the film opens up in a futuristic world, which is so bad, everyone escapes via a virtual reality program called OASIS created by the eccentric James Halliday, who is deceased when the film starts.
On frequent visitor of OASIS is Wade Watts who has a mission: to find the three Easter Eggs that Halliday left in the OASIS when he died. Anyone who finds these eggs will have sole control over OASIS. However rival company IOI want OASIS badly and are hunting eggs on a larger scale. IOI head, Nolan Sorrento will stop at nothing to find the eggs, even if it means killing.
Obviously you can guess how this is going to end but the main message is that, no matter how bad reality is, one has to face. No matter how wonderful the other world is one needs to live life.
Personally I liked this film. It is fun, fast paced and most of all has tons and tons of references to pop culture: from films to video games. In some cases this could be daunting to the point of annoying but here it works. I enjoyed playing ‘spot the reference’ Mind you some are explained to the audience but on the whole it is up to the viewer to guess. The cleverest moment is when Wade is transported to a certain Kubrick film in order to find a clue. It is brilliant and well executed.
That is not to say that the film has flaws: character development could have been better. There’s the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope and maybe OASIS could have been slightly prettier, just to act as a contrast to the real world. Still though Ready Player One is a pleasurable movie, just don’t look into it that much and you’ll enjoy the ride.