Review: Ready Player One


Sophia Forrester, Staff writer

Steven Spielberg is famous for his many fantasy movies, including “Jurassic Park” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” which evoked awe and wonder with the new special effects of their respective times, and “Ready Player One” is no different. “Ready Player One” is certainly not the first movie to be intensely integrated with CGI and stunning visual effects, but it does stand out from the other movies in this category like “Avatar” and “Star Wars.” With this being said, the CGI doesn’t hinder the beauty and enchantment it creates.

“Ready Player One” opens with the infamous slowed down version of “Pure Imagination” from the originalWilly Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” which was the main song in most, if not all the trailers of “Ready Player One.” Protagonist Wade Watts, also known by the gamertag Parzival, explains the Oasis the virtual reality game that the movie revolves around and its infamous creator, James Halliday. He also explains the mega-gaming corporation IOI, the antagonist of the movie. However, Parzival keeps on explaining these three vital components throughout the movie, which I understand as each of the three main elements become more developed, but it should’ve been handled in a more clever manner rather than hearing the same explanation over and over.  Halliday planted three keys before he died, where players of the Oasis who crave wealth enter challenges to retrieve all three keys. The first player to win all three keys will unlock a golden Easter egg that grants the player ownership of the Oasis and Halliday’s entire fortune. Along the way, Parzival meets Art3mis, who is also on the hunt for the keys to unlock Halliday’s Easter egg.

One beautifully produced aspect the movie was the use of CGI and visual effects. Most of the movie is within the Oasis, which requires the use of CGI due to the fantasy settings and the gamers’ avatars not being the typical human being. The gamers’ avatars can be anything, with the only limit being the gamers’ imagination. I’m not sure if Wade’s avatar had to be developed as a “reincarnation” from Tye Sheridan who plays Wade Watts, but I really enjoyed the continuity in the subtle similarities between his avatar’s face and Wade’s own face. Also, I was a bit skeptical from the trailer that “Pure Imagination” would be completely overused and the only “real music” in the movie. However, to my delight, there was a good mix of between famous 80’s songs, and nothing felt overly cheesy or overplayed. Additionally, most of the characters’ dialogue felt organic and natural, which was a big bonus and surprised me.

Even though “Ready Player One” was a box office hit, one major flaw I found was that the relationship between Art3mis and Parzival felt extremely forced, and it lacked any development whatsoever. The CEO of IOI also lacked character development as well, leaving him dry and not very compelling as the enemy. If anything, the struggle between Wade and IOI felt like a parent scolding their child for bad behavior. Also, some scenes left me very confused, especially toward the end of the movie, and I still have unanswered questions.

Alas, even though the movie wasn’t perfect, it is a definite must see. I enjoyed 99 percent of it and would unquestionably see it again if given the chance. I rate “Ready Player One” an A due to the fact that I was never bored despite its long run time, and the visual effects were beautifully depicted.