Ready Player One, Now in Cinemas
New Delhi: Ready Player One is a kind of book that brings 02 different media- First, videogames and Finally, literature-together into a 3D explosion (in your mind!). But get this: Ready Player One not only gets its inspiration from the games of the ’80s, but the movies and music, too. They might not all be classics, but they’re beloved by many, especially by super-geek author Ernest Cline.. It bridges the generation gap between the 1980s and now, putting all of those pictures of your parents (or yourself) in neon leg-warmers, side-ponytails, and way too many accessories into context. For the movie lovers who grew up in the blockbuster era, there’s no more iconic filmmaker than Steven Spielberg. But while his benevolent aliens, neato dinosaurs and one whip-cracking archeologist get much of the love, it’s easy to forget just how deep his filmography goes.
Everything in Ready Player One ties together into an action-packed, upbeat, hero’s journey that keeps the film moving along at a thrilling pace. While it’s not particularly emotional and I was disappointed by how many questions are left open by its shallow visits to the real world, it’s still a lot of fun. Countless cameos and funny moments make it easy to plug into and enjoy..
Including several things like explosive car chases and enormous shootouts, some of Ready Player One’s big action moments already seem unforgettable, and they’re some of the best excuses to go crazy with visual effects that I’ve seen. It plays with scale, movement, gravity, and time seamlessly; Spielberg uses the full extent of the unmatched creativity only available in a largely animated movie. Environments twist and shift around characters with careful thought put into camera placement, and every part of the Oasis that you need to understand for story purposes (like inventories, or what happens when players ‘die’) is clearly and effectively communicated – so much so that the Oasis feels like a fully-realized character of its own.
Of course, that horror segment is built on a cameo that’s particularly successful because it’s actually important to the plot, as opposed to a one-off gag. Most of the others serve no purpose other than to get some easy laughs, or perhaps a proud nod from someone who might recognize them when others don’t. Sometimes it’s Batman’s Harley Quinn acting as someone’s player avatar, or a fictional weapon being used during a fight, or just a throwaway line of dialogue. While I’ll admit to personally being charmed by plenty of Ready Player One’s pop-culture references and even having a few moments of pseudo-pride at growing up with nerdy interests that are celebrated in Spielberg’s movie, it does seem like he forgot to properly establish the ‘real world’.
Ready Player One is so enamored with the world of Oasis that it doesn’t spend as much time fleshing out the dystopian Ohio of 2045. How did everyone get so addicted to the Oasis, and when? Do they make real money inside the Oasis that can help them pay rent or pay for groceries? Are people happy with this way of life, and what are the effects of this extreme tech obsession? I could write another 50 questions here that, sure, might be answered in the book, but are unfortunately neglected in the movie. Every time the plot returned to the real world I was curious, especially because the set design and art direction are both notably impressive, but almost always left me underwhelmed.
Characters’ backstories may as well be ignored, too, since they’re mostly background decorations that are stuffed into 30 seconds before being completely forgotten. Wade Watts is an orphan, and while that’s mentioned once, it ultimately serves no purpose to him as a character and doesn’t contribute to any arc. There’s not a remarkable amount of character development overall, outside of valuing teamwork and people for who they are in the real world, not just in the Oasis. That said, almost every character’s story seems to be simple, sweet, and ultimately positive, so I don’t consider any of that to be a deal-breaker – it’s just lacking in depth and development.
What surprised me the most is that Ready Player One is a genuinely funny movie, from start to finish. From a hellish, scary-looking Oasis avatar unexpectedly talking about his real-world neck strain to a presumed genius openly leaving a very childish password visible, it’s cheeky, witty, and never lingers too long on a single joke. In fact, one of Ready Player One’s biggest successes is that it very rarely takes itself too seriously. It does hit cheesy territory a couple of times, like with a character seriously and unironically saying the line “a fanboy knows a hater,” but, for the majority of the time it knows how to make fun of things the book has been criticized for taking much too seriously..