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Ready Player One
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If you read my first review you’d know I’ve always wanted to watch this movie. I will say if you got to see it on the silver screen than you’re lucky. After watching it at home I should have went to the theater instead. You snooze you lose.
As a gamer myself, I did find some of the references to games and pop culture quite interesting, but I felt that was all the film really had to offer. To draw in viewers based on nostalgic feelings towards old video games and epic combat that most games promise. The premise of the story is basic when you break it down to its roots. A group of rag-tag kids band together to fight corporate greed. That sums up the entire plot on a basic level.
Diving deep it is more about a kid trying to avoid the real world who inadvertently ends up the center of a battle to take over the Oasis. A battle that takes place both in game and the real world. Against a company willing to kill actual people to get what it wants. To me that just spells out a basic villain. A big bad corporation against the people. Making decisions simply to turn a profit. Honestly, the CEO even says all they want to do is sell ad-space to gamers. Sound familiar? Just turn off your ad blocker. Even I know that ad space is extremely valuable especially in the digital age. Nevertheless, the villain is just a huge corporate jerk. He isn’t a gamer, nor does he know anything about games. They wanted a douche villain and man did they create one. My only real concern is how he can get away with this and not have the police get involved.
Character development is minimal, I already mentioned that the villain is just a douche, and the players don’t really evolve. You as the viewer just get to see their avatars/compared to their real lives. While not all gamers are like that some of them do use video games as an escape from reality. I know I’ve done it after a stressful day to escape and squad up. Most probably ignored the reality of the world our gamers live in outside of the Oasis. The real world is bleak and dismal. Now that I think of it, the only Character to develop is Wade Watt. He goes from wanting to live in a big mansion all to himself if he wins to splitting the winnings with his clan. Even after he mentions to CEO Jerkwad that he doesn’t clan up. He goes from a selfish kid to someone who sees the bigger picture and what’s really going on with the Oasis. The lessons he learns while hunting for the keys must have been subtle enough.
Imagery is a Grade A Nostalgic trip. Although a lot of it didn’t get your emotions going there were plenty of times of triumph and even selfless sacrifice. As we learn early, you die in the Oasis you lose all your stuff. To some gamers, that’s all they have. A prime example is the loser boyfriend living with Wade’s aunt betting the house money on upgrades. The fight scenes brought back memories of my friends and I playing as a squad to accomplish goals and helping each other. Memories of the good ol’ days of Team Deathmatch with no frills, no pay to win, and no Premium Content. Just sweat and tears.
Seriously though, that is all the movie really had to offer. One big nostalgic trip for gamers young and old to envision a MMORPG, or massively multiplayer online role-playing game for those that aren’t gamers, in VR (virtual reality). I mean even I still hope to experience that in my lifetime.
Yeah, I’m a nerd, so what.
In the end I’d give the move three stars for imagery and some story development, even on its basic level. Do I regret not watching it on the big screen? Yes. Would I watch it again? Probably not. Should you watch it? If you’re a gamer and/or love pop culture, hell yes. Otherwise, keep looking at your movie list.
Oh, before I forget. The acting wasn’t half bad yet most of the movie was animated and I think the characters were supposed to be awkward in person, can’t really complain too much. Except for i-R0k, his/her voice didn’t fit the character and I think it would have been better to see his/her real-world player when he/she lost his/her ten-year accumulated inventory. What goes around, comes around troll. I wonder if his/her name would have been Cory or Kori… since that’s i-rok backwards…