Steven Spielberg has seen it all, done it all and everything he touches, bares his cinematic storytelling signature. His adaptation of Ernest Cline’s celebrated literary ode to pop-culture and the 1980s is no different; Spielberg is at the controller of Ready Player One.
The central character is Wade Watts, a youth residing in The Stacks, a neighborhood of towering trailer homes in 2045 Columbus Ohio. Wade, like the rest of the world after the real world disintegrated into barely inhabitable conditions, spends his days escaping the “suckiness” of the real world to partake in the adventures of The Oasis, a virtual reality constructed by his personal hero James Halliday, where anything you can dream of is possible.
The story of Ready Player One, is essentially a quest. Before Halliday left the world of the living, he created three impossible challenges inside the Oasis. Whoever completes the challenges will receive keys, which lead to an “Easter Egg” that will give whoever finds it, complete control of The Oasis and a vast fortune; Wade and his friends embark on finding the Egg before the wickedly greedy Nolan Sorrento gets to it first.
Ready Player One is visually dazzling and while it is a little overkill in narrative, it’s fun to keep up with. I can definitely admit that I enjoyed watching this spectacle of a film.
I found the writing of the picture entertaining and whimsical. Cline and Zak Penn did an admirable job in laying down the framework of the world Cline created in his book for Spielberg to work with and Spielberg himself was in the right neighborhood in locating the proper balance between the spectacle and the plot; meaning that I wasn’t entirely drowning in the mesmerizing splendor of the visual effects and I could follow the film well enough due to the proper amount of pace in the plot.
To be completely honest, once the climax of the film kicked in, the film lost a little bit of credibility and the final act was rather drawn out to the point where I wanted it to just end already, but I was satisfied by the final product of Ready Player One and I believe it is worth seeing in theaters.
I thought the cast was pretty solid altogether. Tye Sheridan is a capable protagonist, Olivia Cooke is a good female lead, Ben Mendelsohn makes his money as the villain and the supporting cast including Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, Phillip Zhao, Win Morisaki, T.J. Miller, Hannah John-Kamen, Ralph Inesson, Susan Lynch and Mark Rylance all do a good job in their roles.
Alan Silvestri’s score is well-done, Janusz Kaminski’s cinematography is great, Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn’s editing is fine, Adam Stockhausen’s production design is great, Anna Pinnock’s set decoration is good and the costumes of Kasia Walicka-Maimone are very elaborate. This movie is very rock-solid on a technical level and if there are those in the audience who have read the novel, I think that this could be passable enough to enjoy as a cinematic experience.
Ready Player One is an escape worth exploring. It’s brimming with imagination, thrilling twists and turns, keen craftsmanship and a surprise in every corner; this is a very wild adventure courtesy of Steven Spielberg and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.