When you hear the name ‘Steven Spielberg’, closely followed by the words ‘new film’, your ears immediately begin to prick up and listen to what is being said about it. One of the most loved filmmakers over many generations, bringing us Jaws, Indiana Jones, E.T, Back To The Future, Jurassic Park; I could go on for the majority of this article. Despite all of his outlandish and mesmerising creations over the past few decades, Ready Player One has to be up there with one of the most imaginative.
Ready Player One, based on the book by Ernest Cline of the same title, is set in Columbus, Ohio in 2045, following a young man called Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) and his love for a virtual reality called the Oasis. Inside the ultimate escapism, are games, characters and your individually created avatar that crosses everyone’s imaginations, including challenges for the ultimate ‘Easter Egg’ set by the late creator James Halliday (Mark Rylance). However, Nolan Serrento (Ben Mendelsohn) and the power hungry IOI corporation want the prize for themselves.
This movie is a pop cultural phenomenon. Almost every single reference from video games, movies, television and music are compiled in a way that allows you to enjoy each one. The combination of live action from the real world and the visual effects of the Oasis is spectacular. It is incredibly well done and balanced due to the volume of not only characters from various franchises, but all the range of avatars players create as identities. The actors certainly bring their characters to the forefront, especially with having to handle both the live action and the application to the animation work. With some stellar names thrown in the mix, Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke standout, and after being put on the map through X-Men (Sheridan) and Bates Motel (Cooke), they will have cemented their place for the next few years I’m sure.
One of the key aspects of the film, and it is touched upon in the trailer, is the debate and topical issue about technology and social media interaction through mediums such as PlayStation or Xbox, that people potentially rely on it too much? They are a great form of enjoyment that you can share with your friends and explore countless possibilities that would otherwise, and, for the most part, be vastly unattainable in our lifetimes. But it is important to learn of some of the probable consequences, and remember that there is a world beyond your television screen. The film deals with this topic in a really enlightening manner. Among other key issues that I’ll let you see for yourself in the movie, they’re all something that I think all members of the audience, be it parents, children, adults, teenagers, whomever it may be, we can all learn something from this film.
As great as this film was, I couldn’t help but come away from it thinking it could have had a more ruthless edge to it. One of its primary features is to appeal to all ages with its pop cultural essence. But the majority of these are things from the 80s and 90s, meaning that the older members of the audience could have enjoyed a tastefully done, lower end of the spectrum R-Rated film. A dash of ruthless aggression would have been perfect in my opinion, because the film deals with some very real world, topically issues, and a dollop of gritty truth would have been preferred. However, I take nothing away from the film, and it is perfectly wonderful the way it is.
Ready Player One will be showing in cinemas everywhere on the 28th March.