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RU Cinema Review: "Ready Player One"

My first encounter with "Ready Player One" was when it came up as an ad I couldn't skip on YouTube. As I was watching it, I did not even really know what I had just seen. My overall impression was it was as if last year’s "Jumanji" and James Cameron’s "Avatar" had a weird love-child starring the teenage Scott Summers. The film took place in a virtual world and the characters were just a bunch of avatars, so we did not even get to see the actual people.

I only watched the film because a few of my friends who I have not hung out with in a while really wanted to watch it, and while I was hesitant at first, I gave in and went along for the viewing.

For walking in there with absolutely no expectations at all, "Ready Player One" was actually a pretty entertaining movie. The plot was a little out there — people play this video game challenge that the deceased creator made up to take master control of the game and a company is trying to eradicate them inside the game as well as in real life — but it had heart.

It had a whole family aspect to it with the main character Wade learning that the virtual reality known as OASIS meant something more to a whole community of people than just a break from life. I do still think that an established corporation was still trying to take down a bunch of kids playing video games for control over the virtual universe. There are people whose jobs are literally to just decipher the clues in the challenge and there is even a designated “war room” for employees to enter OASIS. That concept, if it were explained out of context of the rest of the film, would have thinking that the creator was a little nuts. Although, in the world that the story takes place in it fits. It’s the year 2045, so technology in the future is insanely advanced, right? 

As with almost every movie these days, there has to be some sort of romantic tension or chemistry or something of the sort. Wade claims to fall in love in OASIS with another player after they have spent maybe at most a few days together. This is a real person inserted in a virtual world portraying an avatar that doesn’t even look like him falling in love with another avatar who, spoiler alert, doesn’t even look like the actual girl portraying her. At the very least, they met up in real life at some point and actually got to know each other for real so the idea is not totally insane, just a little bit.

Being a film centered around video games and pop culture, there were a lot of references from various mediums, also known as Easter Eggs. There were scenes that included details and plot points from things such as "The Shining," "Child’s Play" and Monty Python and some of the avatars were designed to look like soldiers from the Halo franchise, just to name a few.

My opinion? "Ready Player One" is a fun movie for the youthful spirit. The love story, the need to escape reality, video games and pop culture all come together to tell a tale that is guaranteed to make audiences laugh and feel real emotions while inducing some feelings of nostalgia, whether that nostalgia is the desire to play video games as a kid again or the remembrance of some of the older hits that the Easter Eggs originate from.

It also drives the importance of unplugging every once in a while to experience real life, which is something that is an issue today. While we are constantly glued to our screens and lock ourselves in our own worlds with headphones, it is important to be present if we are to live life’s best moments.

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