Review: Ready Player One

Standard Disclaimer: Spoilers Ahead If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you may not want to read this just yet. Go see it before reading!  

The Good

Easy-to-follow adventure/coming-of-age/gamer love fantasy story. Relatable characters. Beautiful visuals, and a good blend of live action and CGI. A good virtual-age teenage love story.

The Bad

Crammed with so many geek/nerd culture references, you'll miss something if you blink. Yet another retelling of the familiar "put down the phone/keyboard and go outside" narrative. Under-developed supporting characters.

I will freely admit that this movie surpassed my expectations by a fair bit. After seeing trailers and commercials nearly nonstop for several weeks, I had already determined the thing was going to be a flop. But at least it would be a pretty flop. I suppose, looking back, that this was the perfect mindset to have going in.

Ready Player One held my attention the entire time (minus one short bathroom break) with its gorgeous visuals and countless hidden visual “Easter eggs” that tied in beautifully with the story’s overall endgame. I’ve already forgotten the name of The Oasis‘s creator, but I assure you none of the characters will let you go two minutes without hearing it or some other random excruciating detail about him. The virtual museum of his life serves as a very frequent setting to the story’s events, so we get to see his (past) life unfold alongside both the game’s main quest and Wade Watts’ own self-discovery. Ultimately, I found this obsession over the game’s creator a bit tedious, especially given the recent events unfolding surrounding Facebook and the like. Players comb through this man’s personal experiences, which he freely shares, with excruciating detail, gleaning plot-driving clues from the tiniest bits of conversation.

Fetch quest after fetch quest takes us through this extremely pretty world. Which is nice. But seriously, every single 80s reference you can think of. All over the screen. All the time. And the whole “the real world sucks so we’ll save our virtual one from getting commercialized, ’cause we already screwed up there once” message gets a bit preachy toward the end. 

It’s a fun watch. It’s a pretty watch. But it’s not one I’d watch multiple times. Certainly not a classic, maybe a cult classic later on. 

Note: I’ll be honest with you; I’ve had this sitting in the queue for some time now. Haven’t really had a reason to finish it, so I guess I’ll just go ahead and put it out there.

The movie was alright. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, and I haven’t watched it a second time. Didn’t feel it necessary. I’m sure there are fans out there somewhere. 

Verdict:
2.5/5

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