Ready Player One ReviewMovies about video games and online culture have always gotten mixed results. Much of the problem stems from attempting to explain, to an average viewer, what they are seeing and what it means. Watching someone type or interact on screen is usually as boring as it sounds. In the past there have been attempts to bring the excitement of the online world to screen. "Hackers", for example, is an early example of how Hollywood tried to make online culture "cool' More recently, there have been been attempts to show online culture and the best examples tend to be those in ongoing television series. Often, due to the restrictions on time and budget for film, the content results in an action movie with some computer elements.
"Ready Player One" takes place in the year 2045 after several wars and natural disasters have caused world-wide shortages and high poverty. In urban Ohio, Wade (Tye Sheridan) is a teenager who is living in a tower of shipping crates known as "the stacks" with his aunt and her rotating string of "uncles" They do not have much to live on and Wade's only form of escape, as well most others in a similar situation, is an online universe called "The Oasis".
It was created by a man named Halliday (Mark Rylance) Who was one of the richest men in the world with everyone trying to either take over or find an advantage including the competing company IOI lead by Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn). When Halliday suddenly dies, he reveals that there are three puzzles people can complete to not only gain control of his company but the Oasis as well. People all around the world attempt to find the "easter eggs" in the game to complete the quests but after five years and countless people combing through Halliday's memories online and his obsession with 80's and 90's popular culture no one has been able to solve the puzzles.
Wade, who has been idolizing Halliday since birth didn't give up. In a race, which is believed to be the key to the first easter egg he runs into Art3mis, another person who thinks she can solve all the puzzles because of her knowledge of Halliday's obsessions. Along with Wade's friend Aech, trio work their way through the pop culture based puzzles with Sorrento and his company of people trying to stop them. This leads to a final confrontation between the groups with the balance of power in the Oasis hanging until one team or the other wins.
"Ready Player One" is a wonderfully slick buddy/action film that is populated with characters from the 1980's and 1990's. Though it doesn't have a lot of character development or much related to the source material, it is worth watching for the fond memories of popular culture. 7/10