Archive

Please reload

Tags

Please reload

Ready Player One Review - An Amazing Blast From The Past!

March 28, 2018

 

Hold on to your joystick.

 

It is virtually impossible to see Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg’s wild ride into the world of virtual reality, just once. There is so much going on in this movie, both retro and futuristic, that it is hard to compute in one sitting. A pop culture treasure hunt of the past 30 years as seen through the prism of a VR Disneyland called Oasis, Ready Player One rotates from the real world of 2045 to a virtual one filled with references to movies, music, personalities, memories and events that made me think my life was passing in front of my eyes in some sort of pop culture fever dream.

 

The retro pop culture artifacts in Ready Player One literally come flying. Sneeze and you’ll miss a Jurassic Park T-Rex on the chase or a racing Back to the Future DeLorean. Roads? You don’t need roads when Godzilla or the Iron Giant or the baby monster from Alien come charging at you in a virtual reality universe. Legendary director Steven Spielberg has made a movie of the geeks, by the geeks and for the geeks. He wanted to make an entertaining amusement park ride, and, wow, does he succeed.

 

                                         (Photo courtesy of: Warner Brothers)

 

Jukebox music from the glorious decade that is 1980s is your soundtrack, and I pity the fool that doesn’t appreciate a movie that begins with the synth-keyboard sounds of Van Halen’s rock staple “Jump.” Say what’s up to a nerdy teen named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan, X-Men: Apocalypse) that resides in Columbus, Ohio, in 2045. As he explains it, the world has become so economically bleak that most people spend their lives wearing heavy headsets and immersing themselves in an expansive virtual reality world called OASIS. This is where Wade, i.e., the cool blond-haired avatar “Parzival,” surfs and shoots and hangs with his other avatar pals.

 

                                           (Photo courtesy of: Warner Brothers)

 

Along for the ride is another avatar named Aech (Lena Waithe), a kind of awkward, robot-y protector, as well as the red-haired, wide-eyed anime-styled girl known by her avatar, Art3mis (a terrific Olivia Cooke). Eventually we meet her in the real world as Sam, and she and Wade/Parzival clearly are made to travel these trails together. Standing in their way is sleazy corporate villain Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), who is bound and determined to get the prize himself but knows he must co-opt Parzival (who makes a key mistake by revealing his real-world identity) to do it. Along the way there’s a massive car race involving the DeLorean of Michael J. Fox’s dreams, the Batmobile and other famous wheels. There also is a dazzling ode to Saturday Night Fever and Bee Gees music. Best of all is a brilliant sequence set right in the heart of The Shining, as a clue leads to a movie theater and a trip straight into a horror movie, with Parzival and company immersed into everything Kubrickian. It goes on and on. You’ll be exhausted trying to keep up with all, but also exhilarated.

 

                                           (Photo courtesy of: Warner Brothers)

 

Spielberg proves to be the perfect director to the get to the essence of what is really a movie, a visual effects-driven playground for anyone who loves the legacy of film and looks forward to the infinite possibilities of its future. Ready Player One meets our pop culture at the crossroads and knocks it out of the park. Sheridan is ideally cast as Wade/Parzival, and so is Cooke, also great in the current Thoroughbreds. Mendelsohn is perfectly slimy, and Rylance nails it as usual. Also nicely cast is Simon Pegg, who turns up as Halliday’s former partner Ogden Morrow.  The production values here are as good as it gets in movies — but considering who is calling the shots, are you really surprised? It’s a blast from the past!

 

 

Final Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

Review by Leanie Gari

Please reload

Recent Posts

Please reload

Renegades - X Ambassadors
00:00 / 00:00