Ready Player One
3D Movie Review
Written By: Adolph Vega
Sadly the 3D visuals are wildly inconsistent within this movie. The movie is split with scenes in the real world (live action) and scenes in the virtual world (digitally animated). The scenes filmed in the real world look awful in 3D. The 3D element is hardily noticeable in the real world scenes. On the flip side many scenes within the virtual world have nice enjoyable 3D. The movie frequently cuts between real world and virtual world scenes, and this can be jarring to see. I was never wowed by the 3D visuals within this movie. That being said the 3D really shines during the thrilling racing scene. 3D enhanced the sense of place, distance and speed during this epic scene. The 3D made a exciting scene better because it enhanced the excellent visuals and made the viewer feel like they are in the scene. I believe the lack of 3D in the real world scenes is intentional and is meant to make the real world look significantly worse than the virtual world. The 3D visuals within “Ready Player One” are both intriguing and infuriating. When the movie was in 3D I enjoyed it, but it can be a very frustrating movie going experience because of the constant back and forth. I can only slightly recommend the 3D element of this film.
Final Verdict: Good 3D
“Ready Player One” takes the ideas presented in the 2011 novel by Ernest Cline and builds a full length feature film around it. I have not read the book this movie is based upon, so this review is from the perspective of someone who has no knowledge of the original source material. Fortunately this movie is a self-contained so no prior knowledge is needed to enjoy this movie.
“Ready Player One” takes place in the near future of 2045. In 2045 Virtual Reality has become a mainstream element of popular culture. Unfortunately 2045 is not a great time period to live in. The dystopian world of 2045 is polluted, poverty-stricken, and overall is very depressing. The vast majority of people are driven to escape from the miserable real world into the more pleasant virtual world of “The Oasis”. Within “The Oasis” you can essentially do and be whatever want. One of the creators of “The Oasis” has left his vast fortune and control of the game to a lucky player who can decipher his clues and acquire the three hidden keys within the game. The plot of this movie is essentially one huge treasure hunt within the virtual world. In many ways the plot of “Ready Player One” reminds me a video game. Usually this would be a negative, but in this regard it’s a huge compliment because it makes the movie feel more authentic. The antagonist of the movie is the evil I0I Corporation. This corporation wants to take over the virtual world of “The Oasis” and make it more commercial and claim the prize money to make itself richer and more powerful. The head of the I0I Corporation is Nolan Sorrento. Sadly Nolan is a one-dimensional mustache-twirling villain and has no real depth. Wade Watts plays the main protagonist of this story. Wade is a strange character because he is both the narrator and the main character within this movie. It’s kind of odd for him to have this dual role, because it’s unclear to whom he is talking to when he delivers exposition to the audience. Wade is joined on this quest with a small group of eccentric friends. Wade and his friends must work together to discover the secrets of “The Oasis”. Can Wade and his friends stop the evil I0I Corporation from taking over “The Oasis”? Overall the plot of “Ready Player One” flows well and has a compelling interesting narrative.
“Ready Player One” is a celebration of pop culture from the 1980’s, 1990’s, and early 2000’s. I haven’t seen a movie with so many references to pop culture since “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. It’s impressive to see so many well-known characters and references within one movie. The pop culture element is especially strange since it really focuses on pop culture from the 1980’s and 1990’s but takes place in 2045. This is obviously meant to pander to the current audience watching the movie (in 2018), but it’s perplexing to why characters from the future would be so connected to things from our recent past. Shouldn’t they be nostalgic to things from their recent past, which would be our current time (2010’s) or our upcoming future (2020’s / 2030’s)? This is essentially like teenagers today (2018) being obsessed with pop culture from the 1950’s and 1960’s. The use of nostalgia in this movie is sometimes perplexing when you think about it. The movie does have its own story and characters so it’s not totally dependent on nostalgia. Nostalgia has always been part of the human experience and I don’t expect that to dramatically change in the future. Nostalgia is also very prevalent during bad times as people look backwards for a “better more simpler times” and considering how dismal this future world seems to be it makes sense within the context of the story. Since anything can happen in “The Oasis” it also makes sense that copyright laws wouldn’t be able to catch up. I have some mixed feelings about how this movie handles nostalgia, but overall I liked it and at least it makes sense within the context of the story.
The movie does have several minor problems. It’s left unclear how “The Oasis” is profitable. What exactly happened to cause the future to be this awful? Wades various friends are sadly underdeveloped. The main villain (Nolan Sorrento) of the movie is corny and overly simplistic. The one romantic relationship within the movie feels rushed and tacked on. A few plot points were just too convenient to be believable. Some of the actors act wooden and have bland performances. The use of cursive adult language at times feels unnecessary for this movie. The issues I have with this movie are minor , but they didn’t dramatically hurt my enjoyment of the movie.
Simply put “Ready Player One” is one fun flick. I liked the characters, the story and the message it has to offer. This is both a journey into the endless world of virtual reality and a journey of personal self-discovery. The movie is both fun and smart with a poignant relevant social commentary. The deeper message is never heavy handed and it works well within the movie. This narrative depth might be lost on younger viewers, but older viewers will appreciate the message this movie delivers.
“Ready Player One” is a great movie. I left the movie theater with one huge grin on my face and an empty tub of popcorn. The movie has its issues, but overall I was able to overlook all the minor things and still have a great time. Stephen Spielberg can still deliver a fun blockbuster even after all these years.
Final Verdict: 8/10
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