Ready Player One ‘Exciting and Immersive’


Ivy St. Clair, Author

Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg’s most recent blockbuster film, has been anticipated for years. With the movie based on the bestselling young adult novel by Ernest Cline, there has been no lack of hype. The film has been a global hit.

The sci-fi adventure film is set in 2045 when the world is on the edge of chaos and the only thing keeping people sane is the OASIS, a virtual reality that James Halliday (Mark Rylance) created in hopes of giving himself, and others like him, an escape. When Halliday dies, he sets up a competition for finding an “Easter egg” — hidden clues — that will give whoever wins it control over the OASIS and the profits of the game itself. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) sets out to win this prize, facing fierce competition and the threat of a corrupt government, picking up a ragtag group of friends along the way.

This fast-paced, heart-thumping adventure is definitely one that will appeal to a certain audience. However, I found it to be frankly just too wacky. With so much going on, it’s hard to follow along. Even if one has read the book, it seems that the plot has numerous holes and failures to fully develop. With the novel winning five out of five stars on Common Sense Media, the film just couldn’t live up to its expectations, which isn’t rare for recreated dystopian films. However, I may be more critical than other viewers due to my preferance for books over the movies that follow them.

Many changes were made to the original plot, but did they enhance or dissolve the movie’s appeal? Some fans believe the changes made it better, especially when one has to abide by a screen time of two hours and 20 minutes. However, many believe it strayed too far from the book’s storyline, such as the changes made to the Easter egg quest itself. This was drastically simplified, making the story perhaps less immersive to a broader audience. In the book, the digital world was far more developed and in-depth than the movie’s portayal of it — children even received their education from within the OASIS, and most jobs were performed from inside of it.

Scoring a 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie is still thrilling and leaves viewers on the edge of their seats. But some believe the complex plot may be too much to handle for a younger audience. Many of the pop-culture and media references would go right over a child’s head. However, this wasn’t one of my concerns because the novel was targeted for a young-adult audience.

There was definitely no lack of creativity during the creation of this movie, and fans’ responses also support this idea. The action sequences and the ways it incorporated current trends are exciting and extremely fun, with a part of the quest for the Easter egg taking place in a reality solely developed around the cinematic thriller The Shining.

But could the plot changes and action-packed speed of it all throw people off? One fan on said the film was “clunky, thinly developed, and the absolute butteriest of popcorn flicks.” But another fan on Fandango said, “It was beautiful, deep, exciting, alive… I cried, my parents cried, my husband cried… I’ve seen it four times now.”

With responses to the film so varied, I can’t say exactly what my opinion of this movie is. It was an exciting and immersive ride either way, but if you want a story identical to the book’s, this movie may not be your bucket of popcorn.