Ready Player One
-a brief spoiler warning for any who have not yet seen the film-
. Summary .
The story itself begins with Wade Watts, a young boy living in what we could call a dystopion future. Many of the world's problems were compacted (literally) instead of solved, and the decency of living is signifigantly lower. Wade's own parents died early on, and now he lives with his aunt and her endless string of lovers (though we only see one).
One thing is special about this world, though, and that is the OASIS. The OASIS was a program created by Halliday for people to escape their own worlds and troubles to be free in. In the OASIS, you are free to be anything- your favorite character from your favorite movie- you can do anything- like racing in the Batmobile or fighting Darth Vader- and go anywhere, from Narnia to Hoth. In the OASIS, anything is possible.
However, after Halliday, the OASIS's creator, died, it was revealed that he hid three keys around it. Whoever could find all these keys and use it to find the Easter Egg would then inherit his fortune and own the entirety of the OASIS.
Though a few years have passed, not one person has found a key. . . until now. Wade, who solves the first clue, finds the first key. Then it's a race to find the others before IOI, a company that is hellbent on obtaining Halliday's work.
The film then leads you through this epic adventure of action, visual effects, and unfortunately, some gritty stuff too.
. Positive Elements .
Ready Player One itself centers on the endeavor of Wade Watts. Wade, who at first plays like anyone else for his own desires, has a change of heart and begins to play for the good of all. He refuses to leave his friends behind, and will do anything it takes to prevent IOI from taking over the OASIS.
Along the way, Wade encounters allies (as well as enemies) who help him through his journey. And while teamwork may also be the sub-theme of the film, many of his friends show courage and resolve in helping Wade ultimately win the game.
Samantha, another character, also gives herself up to the IOI in order for Wade to escape, and many other players sacrifice their avatars for what would be the greater good.
Cinematically speaking, however, the film is beautiful. Showing off a huge array of wonderous imagery and many of our favorite characters, it's hard not to point at the screen at any moment and scream out the name of your favorite character. The film hits a pretty big button on nolstagia. Speaking of which-
. Negative Elements .
In its attempt to show off the grandeur of today's (or their day's) technological ability, I believe the film sacrifices much of what could've been important to the story in order to give an overdose of CGI and appeal to the masses.
To put this in perspective, think about every movie you've ever seen. Take all their characters, all the special effects, all the sparkling scenes, but rip away the story and the plot. Then dump it all into a huge pot and stir it.
That would be fun under most circumstances, but in Ready Player One, it's not. Because whatever narrative that is left is unconvincing and non-compelling. Since we're dumping all these pop culture references in there, why not keep the cliche too? And that becomes a problem.
The film also includes much content that would otherwise be very scary to younger viewrs.
In a place where you can be anything, but yet are still limited to your own imagination, there is bound to be some unsavory bits. Even from early on in the film, one person is seen to be doing something sexual in the OASIS (we only see her in this world though).
Subtle (or not so subtle) jokes about this also permeate the film, and can make the atmosphere uncomfortable where it really shouldn't.
Many characters sport immodest outfits (including one of the main characters), and act inappriopriately around each other.
Wade, who after meeting Art3mis for the first time, "falls in love" with her within a week. And of course, this is Hollywood, so she does too. They later share a kiss, but even before then, Art3mis acts flirtatiously around Wade and towards the end, it is implied they do much more than she should.
Throughout the film, there are also other problem spots concerning this including one moment where one of Wade's friends encounters a completely unclothed character (critical spots are covered, but barely).
Characters, throughout the entirety of the movie, curse. "S--t" is used the most, and almost every few minutes or so. And unfortunately, something much worse is used in a less-than-subtle way later.
Halliday in the film is viewed almost as a God for his achievments, (though he might've insisted otherwise himself). And in a climatic scene towards the end, Wade accomplishes an important task "in the name" of multiple people, including Halliday, and refering to them as one might to Jesus or another deity in prayer.
There is also a mystical artifact shown in the film that can only be activated and deactivated by chanting a spell. This spell is chanting twice by different characters, and can easily reference other occult practices.
. The Overview .
Ready Player One accomplishes it purpose to entertain, in fact, it's hard not to when literally hundreds of people's favorite video games, films, songs, etc. are mashed into one big serving of gravy.
But it also misses its mark in nearly every other aspect, including being appropriate for its supposed PG-13 rating.
Ready Player One, like the OASIS, is a cool place to be. But like any cool place, it's not always a good place.
Potatometer- 27% Rotten