Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance. Ready Player One is based off the book of the same name and tells the story of the oasis, a virtual reality world where you can be whatever you want. When its creator dies, he leaves behind a challenge to find an Easter egg and the first to find it wins the creator’s fortune. Spielberg has been doing more period dramas lately, could this be another Spielberg blockbuster classic like Jaws, E.T. and Jurassic Park? The answer is yes. While not as good as those films, it is still a solid, fun, entertaining movie that will have you smiling the entire time.
To begin, Ready Player One is such an interesting concept of a story. It is not to far out of the realm of possibility of becoming a reality. The Oasis is a virtual world where you can be whatever you want and do whatever you like. People no longer want to be in the real world, so they escape to one where all your dreams could come true. This film explores those themes of separating fantasy from reality and what could happen to the world if we blur those lines. Now, obviously the big draw of this film is the references and throwbacks to old films and games. There are plenty of those here and while they are abundant, they never takeaway from the overall film. You just get a smile on your face when you recognize something. It makes you feel like a kid again which is the core of this story and what Spielberg does best in all his movies.
Now let’s get to some positives about Ready Player One. First off, there are some terrific performances. Tye Sheridan is good as Wade Watts. We follow the story through his eyes and he does a great job of having that youthful enthusiasm and innocence. Ben Mendelsohn is terrific as the villain just like he is in most of his films. You hate him but can’t help but be drawn to him every time he is on screen. Now there is Mark Rylance as the creator of the Oasis. He is amazing and really the heart of the movie. His ability to have a soul of a child n an older man’s body is fantastic and couldn’t have been done better. Now let’s get to the action. All the scenes within the Oasis are so much fun. The huge racing scene in the trailers is as fun as it looks, and the other sequences are fantastic as well. One scene in particular takes place within a famous film and is quite possibly the best scene in the film. Every visual and reference is fantastic, and you truly feel apart of this endless world.
Now let’s get to the negatives. There are not many but there are a few. First off, the pacing has some issues at moments. A huge dramatic moment can happen and then your immediately thrown into the next scene. It is not allowed to sit and that can take away from the emotional beat that was just happening. Another thing that could’ve been better was the development of other side characters. The avatars of the characters look great but them as characters themselves, they don’t do much. When they get something to do, it doesn’t have that impact that it should because we do not know much about them. Now, some could say that is a point of the film. In the Oasis, you aren’t supposed to reveal who you are in the real world. However, it doesn’t mean we can’t learn more about these kids. Now this brings me to TJ Miller who plays a villain in this film. He just feels like he is in a completely different movie and makes quips that feel very out of place. His recent track record doesn’t help much either, but another actor in the role or a better direction could have helped the character out dramatically. None of these flaws however took away my excitement while watching the film.
At the end of it all, Ready Player One is a fun, joyful action film that makes you feel like a kid again. You will be smiling from the endless entertainment and engaging story. Spielberg has once again delivered a great film that will be revisited for generations and makes both kids and adults happy. I definitely recommend this film for everyone and encourage you to see it before Avengers Infinity War destroys all the competition.