Ready Player One Plays It Safe w/ Light, Nostalgic, Action-Packed Fun.

April 1, 2018

 

Ready Player One is a fun treat for most, and an entertaining, nostalgic buffet for lifelong gamers.

 

Enter, The Oasis: Ready Player One's virtual haven for those seeking an alternate reality to exist in. It's a colorful VR spectacle full of games and gamers of all kinds. 

 

I've been a gaming enthusiast myself since I got my grubby little paws on a Nintendo Entertainment System, and it's been a love affair ever since.

 

Although the Atari 2600 was a bit before my time, Mario and I were like brothers from another mother, and I've spent enough time on Duck Hunt, Tiger Heli, Top Gun, Excite Bike, Paper Boy, Skate or Die, Contra, and countless others, to have an undergraduate degree in Nintendo.

 

From there, I've owned every Nintendo and Microsoft console to date (with the exception of the Xbox One X, which is on my to-do list) and even started building my own gaming PC's the year Nvidia's GTX 500 series was introduced.

 

From mad-dashes to the center of the map for a Spartan grenade launcher, to camper-esque killstreaks to nuke the entire map, to tank-fueled tirades and kills obtained using very unconventional means, like running your opponent over with a quad instead of actually shooting or stabbing them. I've crushed first person shooter servers, been teabagged by prepubescent rapscallions, and everything in between.

 

     All Images: Warner Bros.

 

Since then, I've been a busy boy, studying and partaking in the literary arts, but there was a time, a long period of time, when playing video games was at the fore front of my existence.

 

That said, I'm sure you can picture how engaged someone like me would be staring at an IMAX screen for 2.5 hours, and essentially reliving all these years of video gaming bliss. You may or may not have seen me mention 3D vs. Dolby before, but more often than not, I prefer to watch films in Dolby or Dolby Atmos. But every now and then, when I feel a film is geared for it, I'll catch it in IMAX 3D, which was precisely the case for Ready Player One.

 

Ready Player One is a great film because it can appeal to the casual movie goer, the pop culture fanatic, the video gamer in all of us, and just about anybody else that's ever enjoyed a good, cult-classic film or video game, which means just about everybody.

 

The fandom references in Ready Player One are endless, and with Spielberg at the helm, you know the execution will be good at its worst. Spielberg and friends get almost everything right, and since I haven't read the novel, I'm not in a position to properly assess whether the "areas of improvement" come from the film, or the source material itself.

 

The action scenes are extremely engaging. Almost as engaging as, say, a Transformers ride at Universal Studios. Maybe the IMAX theatre plays a role, sure, but during the scene in which they partake in that first race, my eyes were glued to the screen and then some.

 

 

On a darker note, I did feel that the film climaxes closer to its center than its end, after delivering us with quite a cookie cutter and cliche resolution, but after further analysis of Ready Player One as a whole, I realized the movie's epicenter isn't its finale, its grandeur, or its depth.

 

This movie's focus is a salute to the gaming industry. Paying homage to digital entertainment that's been such a big part of so many people's lives over the course of the last three or four decades.

 

Ernest Cline's story, in conjunction with the entire team that beautifully adapted this book to film, delivers not only a solid, respectable film adaptation, but a beautiful, nostalgic, cinematic keepsake pop culture and video game enthusiasts will surely keep close to their hearts for many years to come.

 

Ready Player One's monumental opening weekend box office figures, prove the world is ready and willing to accept two things, among others: More Spielberg, and more pop culture fandom.

 

And if this film review is the closest thing I ever pen to saying thanks to my favorite video games, I'll be content with that. These games have been integral in my cognitive development, and if I'm ever lucky enough to have little Hachems of my own, you can rest assured they'll have plenty of digital friends in the form of Orcs, Ninjas, Soldiers, Race Cars, Plumbers, Cyborgs, Hedgehogs, and Wizards, just like I did.

 

-A.C.H.

 

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