Ready Player One visually stunning, loses story in progress

Cassandra Martinez, Staff writer

Steven Spielberg is responsible for directing amazing and imaginative movies from everyone’s childhood, due to his ability to make imaginative worlds come alive on the big screen. His newest movie project “Ready Player One,” is another one of his imaginative creation. The movie was based on the material from the novel released in 2011 with the same name by Ernest Cline. The story focuses in the year of 2045, where society has become divided with chaos. In order to escape the harsh reality, the people use a virtual reality universe called the OASIS, which was created by James Halliday, a brilliant man and a huge fan of the 1980s culture. When he passed away, Halliday had left a surprise for the winner of the OASIS, an Easter Egg that offers the winner all of Halliday’s fortune and ultimately becoming the sole heir to the OASIS. The main character is named Wade Owen Watts, whose avatar name is Parzival in the OASIS, and is one of many hunters for the Easter Egg. He teams up with fellow OASIS players Aech, Sho, Daito, and the mysterious Art3mis to find the Easter egg before the evil corporation Innovative Online Industries aka IOI from getting it.

The movie was an amazing visually, due to the many worlds inside the OASIS were beautifully designed to make any moviegoer awe in wonder. The movie had funny moments sprinkled throughout with some witty dialogue and interactions with characters. Then of course the many 80’s references plus modern day references of various pop culture categories that were in all the scenes of the movie. It makes the inner geek in all of us smile and get excited when we see our favorite things we love on-screen. The character designs for the avatars were interesting and the concept of the story about the treasure hunt in a virtual world for eternal glory is attention grabbing to the point we would want to try it out if it existed.

Of course, the movie had its flaws just like any other movie. The movie had so many references that it the audience could get distracted from the story. Not everyone will understand all these references from different points of pop culture history, and would feel lost during the movie. Another big thing that can be noticed by audience members who had read the book, is that it doesn’t quite follow the source material, which can be seen as either a good or bad thing. The main character Wade was bland to the point where we hardly know anything about him and were expected to accept him in the hero role, but at least he wasn’t like his book counterpart. Art3mis became a follower rather than her being her own person, who could solve most of the puzzles on her own, but has to rely on Wade to solve it. Aech, Sho, and Daito were the only main representation of minority characters and they unfortunately didn’t get much backstory. Also they also had a slight of stereotype to their characters correlating to their race that was made clear with their actions in the movie.

In the end, “Ready Player One” is one of those movies that was meant to be a popcorn flick and to be enjoyed by those who haven’t read the book. If the viewer wants to enjoy the movie’s visuals to the full extent, then it needs to be watched on the big screen. Otherwise, for those who are either loyal to the book, don’t like undeveloped characters, the concept of the 80’s, or video game themed storyline, then maybe wait for a Redbox release.