Okay, so we've got this weird flip-flop situation going on here this week, but first a quick story of how we got here. For starters, this week's review was to be 'Pacific Rim'. I've been ill lately, so I decided to play it safe and hold off going to the theater until Thursday. It would mean another late review, but c'est la vie. So I get my ticket for 'Pacific Rim', and with reserved seating, I appeared to be the only ticket. To make a long story short, I attended, totally was the only one there, and they played 'Ready Player One' instead, by accident. Being that I REALLY wanted to see this over 'Pacific Rim', I kept my damn mouth shut, and enjoyed next week's review first. So here we are with a nice, early review for 'Ready Player One', hopefully making up for what's been late lately. Now, on with the review.
In the year 2045, we meet Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a dude who lives in a bunch of stacked up trailers known as, well, "The Stacks". Being that it has become a rough world out there, an invention called "The Oasis" has been created in order for people to escape their harsh realities. Most people in the world spend their lives in this virtual reality, where they level up their avatar over and over, growing and growing. If killed in The Oasis, you don't die in real life, but you lose everything you've earned in this reality, and may even *ahem* "lose your shit" in other ways.
The inventor of The Oasis, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) has passed away. Before his death, however, he planted an "easter egg" (can we consider this an Easter movie, considering it's time of release?) somewhere within the Oasis, and he who finds it is granted full control of it all.
Everyone in the world is now after this Easter Egg, including Wade, his online friends, and a guy named Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn). He runs a video game conglomerate known as the I.O.I. (Innovative Online Industries). They also manufacture most of the best equipment for the Oasis. Sorrento has ammassed an army of "Gunters" (egg hunters) called "Sixers" (based on their 6-digit number) who have ammassed debts, and have every reason to help him find the egg, the catch being, he'll stop at almost nothing to gain control.
So, everyone seems to have the same sort of thing to say about this movie upon viewing its trailer. It's the same old familiar "the book is better than the movie". Usually being the case, I won't argue with the very real probability of that. However, personally, I didn't read this book before going into the movie. I thought it looked like a pretty awesome concept on screen though, with all those cameos, almost begging questions of how rights worked for some of the characters - mostly tied in with Spielberg and Zemeckis. I like me a good easter egg, so to me, this was like a candy store on-screen (which is funny 'cause Halliday is compared with Wonka quite a bit).
But I'm here to tell you what I expected from it all along anyway. For the most part, all these cameos and easter eggs are very subtle. They make it so that you kinda have to look for some of them, and they aren't really who they are so much as avatars with different voices and personalities. There's a lot of it, but it manages to stay subtle enough, save for maybe a few big ones, like the Iron Giant, being built by Wade's friend Aech (Lena Waithe) and serving as part of what her character does - she's a tinkerer.
There's sure to be purists who end up disliking the movie for it's adaptation. But for someone who hasn't read it yet, I can honestly say I got what I wanted to see, and maybe even more. So far, I'd claim it to be my favorite film yet this year. It pulls a 'Scott Pilgrim' with me in the sense that it just happens to speak to me with what it is, and how it's executed. It's just as flashy as it looks in the trailers, but the 3D is very nice (and yes, 'Pacific Rim' was to be 3D as well) if you like good visuals. But it also does a good job of bringing you into this world, showing off things like where people shop, or where communities meet up and party. On top of that, the characters are developed nicely, and the story is one that I personally find interesting. I have to say, I admired the way it ended as well. Check it out for yourself, and see how it goes. Not to overhype it on anyone, but I personally loved every minute of it.