Ready Player 1: Epic Nerdgasm
Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Alright, before we begin I need to make something clear; I would like to be flash frozen with a sign that says 'defrost only in the event of the oasis' as soon as the technology becomes available. Just had to get that out there.
I'm not sure if it was the constant bombardment of references from my childhood, the idea of such a massive video game universe, the illustration of the very virtual reality technology we're currently on the verge of, the game references, or the truly epic battle scene; whatever it was, I had a wonderful time at this movie. It is completely packed from one end to the other with so many pop culture references it is literally impossible to see it all (upon the second viewing my roommate noted that Hello Kitty tackles an IOI goon in the final battle) in just one viewing. And despite this constant bombardment, nothing ever feels forced. Everything is in its place waiting for you to discover it. On top of that, there's a decent plot addressing the issue of video game addiction.
Ironic, isn't it?
Despite all this praise there were still a few issues in the execution. Now it's possible that some of these are explained in the book. I haven't read it yet, mainly because of the shenanigans of screenwriters that have ruined other great books in the past. Starship Troopers and Ender's Game come to mind. Seriously, I'm all for the first amendment, but those screenwriters should not be allowed writing implements of any kind. And they should be stabbed if they try to acquire them.
With a typewriter. . .
My biggest issue with this movie comes in the form of government; they don't seem to have any. The big evil corporation in the movie, named IOI (Because naming it EA would have probably caused a law suite) is breaking the law all over the place. They have indentured servitude (if not outright slavery), working conditions that would have any OSHA auditor going through markers like a fifteen year old looking for a rush, a private security force that kidnaps citizens (when its not blowing up 3D trailer parks) for said indentured servitude, and more drones than any three FOBs. The only reason I can think of for the government not to have cracked down on the entire company yet is that all of its various three letter departments are having an epicly massive battle royal (probably in the Oasis) to decide who gets to nail them to the wall. Either that, or there is no government. But if there were no government, A) you would be taken over by a country that has one, and B) where did the cops at the end of the movie come from?
I also have some misgivings about the idea that one man could have created the entirety of the Oasis. Absent a truly brilliant mind (which Mark Rylance did do a phenomenal job of portraying) that comes at video game architecture in a completely revolutionary way this would be impossible. Of course the chances of such a person coming along are probably only far fetched, but something needs to be said about it.
The movie also doesn't really seem to take into account hacking, both in game cheating, and looking at the code. Did no one decompile the code to find the keys? Conversely could they not simply have cheated their way around the challenges themselves? Teleporting is not an uncommon (or even difficult) feat with today's games. Did no one try to simply teleport past Kong to the finish line? Would that not have been cheaper than hiring an uber-douche like Nolan Sorrento and his group of crossword lackeys?
Other than those issues (that may or may not be explained in the book) this movie has great action, character interaction, visuals, well timed humor, and a solid story. It never lets you pause for a breath to remember you're watching a movie. The actors did a great job, and lets not forget that its so jam packed (I do love jam) you could watch it a dozen times and see different things each viewing. I give this movie . . . scratch that; this movie earned a 93%.