Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
The revolutionary who molded the foundations of modern cinema is back! Steven Spielberg, the man who brought us classic films such as Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Jurassic Park, is back to show us why his reputation still holds strong. Ready Player One is Spielberg’s latest creation. Based off of Ernest Cline’s 2011 science-fiction novel of the same name, the film is a boiling pot of pop culture references that proves to be one of 2018’s most visually impressive films.
With a screenplay written by Cline and Zak Penn, Ready Player One follows the path of its source material, albeit with a few good revisions here and there. The film is set in 2045 where humanity has retreated to a virtual reality called, OASIS, due to depleted resources. To quote the hero of the story, Wade Watts, “there’s nowhere else to go, but the OASIS”. Watts, a young man who resides in the towering trailer-stacked neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, is one of the many players in the digital universe.
The OASIS was created by the eccentric, and weirdly innocent, James Halliday, who peacefully moved on to the after-life. In his passing, Halliday created one last goose chase that will dictate the outcome of the future of humanity. He created an easter egg hunt within the game and whoever finds it shall be given complete control over the OASIS. With this in mind, all of the players in the game rushed to find the prize, and even “evil” corporations, specifically, Halliday’s main competitor, IOI (Innovative Online Industries), headed by the slithery, Nolan Sorrento, joined the hunt. It’s the perfect Spielberg plot - the innocent versus the corrupt.
A master of building worlds, Spielberg spared no expense in dishing out his visual prowess. He successfully created two environments in one movie without any rough edges. The rusty, real-world dystopian Earth and the neon-draped digital realm of the OASIS complimented each other really well. The man doesn’t stop with the impressive visuals, but the construction of the filmverse was also an eye-catcher.
Ready Player One is Spielberg’s ode to the 80’s. From the intro scene’s full blast of Van Halen’s 1984 hit, Jump, to the never-ending 80’s pop culture movie references *watch out for the “Zemeckis Cube” and you’ll understand*, Spielberg hits all the right feels for those craving for some sweet nostalgia. The whole movie is a quest in itself, what with its video game references and all, it’s pure fun and entertainment just like the good ole’ days of arcade games.
The film is filled with zigzaggy moments that may even serve as a “mini-climax” and we’re all for the wild ride, but admittedly, there are times when it gets too energetic that it can be hard to follow. Despite that observation, Ready Player One has a lot of heart in the form of its five heroes, dubbed the High Five. Comprised of Wade Watts aka Parzival, Samantha aka Art3mis, Helen aka Aech, Toshiro aka Daito, and Zhou aka Sho, the five heroes represent the innocent youth, who wish to protect the OASIS from the hands of Nolan Sorrento and IOI.
Ready Player One successfully combined entertainment and mysticism. Watching it reminded us of the main reason why we love movies in the first place - for a good 2 hours or so, we’re in another world and far from the real one with real problems. An escape, even if temporary. We’ll give it 5 / 5 movie stars.
Ready Player One is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and will open in Philippine cinemas on March 31. Book your tickets now with GMovies!