‘Ready Player One’ high-fives nerds and geeks at the winner’s circle (a review)

This review was originally posted on Talon Marks, my school newspaper.

“Ready Player One” was the March-April weekend box office’s black horse making $41,700,00, twice as muchthan second place “Tyler Perry’s Acrimony” at $17,100,000.

The film’s excitement was divided into two when the film’s marketing released ads for the movie that were riffs from classic ‘nerd’ movies such as “The Matrix” and “Back to the Future.”

People were quick to assume the film would try and be successful by relying on nostalgia from fan-favorite movies that have gathered a cult following.

Although the movie had characters and music from past pop-culture phenomenons, the thrilling plot and futuristic setting made this movie a success.

Director and producer of the film, Steven Spielberg, having directed and/or produced so many classic cult movies, had to be the perfect director for its heavy theme of nostalgia and fantastic imagery.

With so many things happening on screen, such as car chases, fighting machines and digital worlds floating in space, both beautiful and meticulous, it’s surprising to see the main storyline hold strong throughout the film. An example can be the car race scene towards the beginning of the film.

Wade Watts, played by Tye Sheridan, and Helen Harris, played by Lena Waithe, are players in the virtual reality game OASIS which is played by, what seems like, everyone on the planet.

The creator of the game, James Halliday, played by Mark Rylance, before passing away, revealed that there is an Easter egg (a hidden token) in the game that, when found, will reward the founder with the CEO position of the game’s company.

Many players exist in the game to escape their crappy lives by creating avatars of anything they want and live out a virtual reality. Other players dedicate their time to hunting for the Easter egg and, ultimately, ownership over the game.

And finally, IOI, a monopoly tech company, had a division in their offices dedicated to finding the Easter egg and would go through any means necessary to wipe out the competition.

The storyline is not difficult to follow. Contrasting many action movies that we see today, the plot steers away from complex storytelling in order to not bombard the audience with too much stimuli.

That is because the movie is half-and-half CGI and live-action, the CGI being very pleasing to watch in both the aesthetic and the action scenes.

For a movie budgeted at $175 million the production is on par with Disney’s movies, except the train-wreck of “A Wrinkle In Time,” $100 million. The visual effects, although may seem like overkill, will make you not want to blink so as to not miss anything.

The interesting camera angles offered by the CGI when the setting is inside the OASIS helps to be fully immersed in the film, which is key since CGI could break the believability of a film.

The cast, part actors and part voice actors, stayed true as their characters and their characters’ avatars in the game, switching back and forth between versions of themselves.

Appropriate awkward chemistry was placed between the lead character and lead female character, alluding to cyber-romance that exists in our generation. It’s a become a played-out cliche that a couple can fall in love with someone online without meeting the person face-to-face. The same happens to these characters except one of them is quick to explain the reality that neither of them truly know who they are.

An outburst of anger breaks the romantic setting, ripping the audience’s attachment to the romance of the characters similarly to how a relationship can go sour when online lovers meet in person.

Overall, the film did exceptional for its budget and theme.

A great production team helped carry the film from something that could’ve easily made the film a disaster. The movie deserves a four out of five stars. The missing star is due to the characters having no character development.

Currently at an advanced screening for “A Quiet Place,” I’ll post a review for it in the next couple days.

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