Ready Player One is a wistful and imaginative film based on the book by Ernest Cline. If you enjoyed the book, you might notice that director Steven Spielberg took some creative license with the details.
Set inexplicably in Ohio, in the year 2045, we follow Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) living in a poor trailer park known as “the stacks.” He escapes his dismal reality into a virtual universe known as OASIS.
Within OASIS, he exists as his avatar, Parzival. The creator of the universe, James “Anorak” Halliday (Mark Rylance), makes an announcement from beyond the grave: a contest is being launched in which players must find an Easter egg. The contest becomes increasingly complex, involving the discovery of various keys and clues that reference a plethora of pop culture, most notably including the work of the late director, Stanley Kubrick.
The winner of the contest receives full ownership and control of OASIS. It then becomes Parzival’s mission to find the Easter eggs, alongside his many allegorical friends. The two most enjoyable aspects of this film are the exorbitant special effects and the guesswork as to the location of the next Easter egg.
To my first point, the racing scenes through the city streets of 2045 are exhilarating. The action in Ready Player One is engaging and is a known strength of cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and director Spielberg. The visual effects alone are a unique selling point of this film. A digitally recreated version of the Overlook Hotel from The Shining was used to great effect.
Considering the next clue, and the location of the next Easter egg, is an enjoyment that follows that of the special effects. The massive plot, which is well told and incredibly detailed, is not for everyone. This is a film for those who enjoy watching a single scene over and over again, until a new insight is discovered. When it is, the feeling is gratifying. Character development and acting quality is — for the most part — a secondary concern. It is clear from the beginning who the hero is, and who the bad guys are.
Speaking of Easter eggs, the Blu-ray is filled with over 90 minutes of bonus features and contains even more Easter eggs for your pure enjoyment. ~Ari Derin
If you would like a copy of Ready Player One on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, click here to buy it now at Amazon.ca.
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