Story by Caroline Harvey
Millions upon millions of people go to one place for the same reason: to escape reality into a virtual reality. Pixels make up everything you see, everyone you meet, a whole new currency system created for this place of refuge, creativity, and inspiration. You can be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, all for the sake of escape.
Ready Player One, directed by the one and only Steven Spielberg, debuted in theaters on March 29. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, the movie has earned over $100 million within the first three weeks of playing on the big screen.
As this film is an adaptation of a novel, fans of the book were nervous to see how the movie would come out. Steven Spielberg is not one to disappoint, so tickets sold quickly and opening weekend had theaters packed.
The story follows teenager Wade Watts, who lives with his aunt and her raggedy boyfriend. He often escapes the reality of his world by doing what almost everyone in 2045 does: putting on a virtual reality headset and entering the VR universe called the Oasis, created by James Halliday. When Halliday passes away, he leaves behind three “easter eggs” in the Oasis, and the first to find all three inherits Halliday’s fortune and ownership of the Oasis. Throughout the story, a company known as IOI tries to seize control of the easter eggs as they’re found and prevent Wade from finding any more. Nolan Sorrento, CEO of IOI, even goes as far as to threaten his life and the lives of Wade’s family and friends.
Ernest Cline’s sci-fi action adventure has been given a 74 percent rating on the Tomatometer and an 80 percent rating from the general audience. Critics called the film “solidly engrossing” and a nostalgic thrill, highlighting the retro era of gaming. Ready Player One included references to pop culture, such as The Shining, characters from classic arcade games such as Pacman, and so on.
While Ready Player One had its highlights and action-packed scenes, the story was inconsistent at times and fell into corny 80s tropes. There were no major plot twists that made the story more exciting or suspenseful; it was a straightforward race against the clock and a monopoly company to gain control over the Oasis. The film had underdeveloped minor characters and the ending was a bit anticlimactic, but had a good resolve. Halliday’s point in creating the ‘easter eggs’ was to make sure that his heir-to-be was worthy and wouldn’t make the mistakes he made: signing away his life to a company that would rob the game of everything it should be.
Steven Spielberg’s adaptation has its flaws, but is well worth the price of admission.