Steven Spielberg is widely regarded as one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema. Ever since he started directing in the 1970’s, he’s made many films that are widely hailed as some of the greatest movies of all time like Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, and Jurassic Park. Another thing I love besides Spielberg’s work is 1980’s and 90’s pop culture. Even though I never grew up in that decade, I have a good knowledge about the various icons that came out of those respective decades. Now, Warner Bros. Pictures, Steven Spielberg, and his production company Amblin Entertainment invite you to the world of the OASIS with Ready Player One.
Based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One takes place in the year 2045, where the real world is a harsh place. When James Halliday, the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS, dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.
Ready Player One is a super fun thrill ride of a movie with nostalgia galore. The story, while different from the book (which is to be expected), has the right combination of fast-paced action and intriguing mystery. The movie also has a lot of references to 80’s and 90’s pop culture that are frequent in the OASIS, but the characters don’t spell out all of the references to you and some of the references are some of the funniest parts of the movie. This is also one of those movies in the veins of films like The Lego Movie or Wreck-it Ralph where you will spot several new hidden characters in the background that you could catch all them on repeat viewings. The visuals are also fantastic with a great contrast between the real world and the virtual world. In the real world in Columbus, Ohio in 2045, the world is very bleak and gray with nowhere else to go with everyone living in stacked trailers. But in the world that everyone’s escaped to, the OASIS, everything is very polished and colorful with very creatively designed worlds and characters. With most sci-fi films, one of the best things about the genre are the creative visuals in a space and fantasy world rather if it’s a movie like Star Wars, Star Trek, WALL•E, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, or Guardians of the Galaxy, they always make the worlds look fascinating and you could just wish you could go there. Also, the movie is very timely right now with the rise in popularity of virtual reality gaming when people don’t try to fix their own world when they can go to a better one that isn’t real. The action sequences are also a lot of fun with the car race at the beginning of the film is one of the highlights of the movie, along with one scene where the characters try to find a key in a famous movie. The characters are typical archetypes in a movie like this, but they are well-executed with the great performances from each of the actors. While the movie is pretty long at almost 2 and 1/2 hours, the movie never feels like it’s dragging and I was never bored.
Overall, Ready Player One is another great addition to Steven Spielberg’s filmography as a great love letter to nerds and geeks like myself with a fun story, gorgeous visuals, and references galore. If you are a fan of Steven Spielberg or a nerd obsessed with 80’s pop culture, this is a must-see for you. I’m going to give Ready Player One a 9/10 with the Edward’s Seal of Approval.