Arts & Culture

Review: ‘Ready Player One’ changes the game

Miles Scroggins, Staff Writer

To all the gamers, movie buffs and “Stranger Things” fans, there is a film that is the perfect fit for you. From legendary director Steven Spielberg comes “Ready Player One,” a visually stunning action movie based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline. It is a mix of live action and computer-generated thrills within a post-apocalyptic timeline. For most moviegoers, there is a plethora of ’80s pop culture references that will bring out the inner child in you. With massive amounts of visual effects, audiences are taken through a wild and action-packed journey through the highs and lows of the digital age.

The story begins in a trailer park in Ohio during the year 2045. A brave but nerdy gamer named Wade Watts spends most of his time escaping from his dismal world by entering a virtual reality world, the Oasis, where people appear as digitally customized avatars. When Wade’s avatar, Parzival, hears about a contest to win access to the entire Oasis, he puts together a team to find the ultimate hidden Easter Egg. Wade must look through all the clues about the origin of the Oasis as well as the past of the game creator, James Halliday, to find it. Along the way, he must discover the secret plot behind the company that separates the cyber world from the real world.

Most of the fun comes from the references that come to life in the Oasis. Through a collection of classic movies such as “The Shining” and “The Iron Giant,” viewers get to see their childhood come to life once again on the big screen. It is astonishing being able to see all these familiar concepts and characters by using the new digital age technology that we have today.

This movie can serve as a reflection of the world we live in today with the ever-changing marvels of technology. In the movie, everybody makes friends through their avatars in the Oasis. Nobody knows who people really are or what they look like. In the present day, we all feel like we want to escape the problems we have in the real world, so we tend to stick ourselves in the bubbles of our phones, video games and social media. It is tempting for us to hide from our problems in the world of our own imagination, and this film does a good job of demonstrating that.

Once again, Spielberg does not disappoint in telling a story with fun, action and heart. “Ready Player One” serves as the fanboy holy grail of a new generation. This movie addresses the balance between dreams and reality in an incredibly imaginative way. It shows how technology is evolving through fast-paced CGI action sequences and intense graphic motion. This film has everything we love in a movie, all wrapped within two hours and 21 minutes.

This article first appeared in the Friday, April 13, Edition of The Echo.