CAUTION: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!
If you’re a fan of ‘80s music AND a video game geek, then that’s just two of many great reasons why you should grab your jacket and run to the nearest cinema to watch this movie. Actually, even if you aren’t, I suggest you go watch; I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Director Steven Spielberg delivers another seat-clenching, action-packed movie in the form of Ready Player One, originally a book written by Ernest Cline. Set in a dystopian Columbus, Ohio in the year 2045, virtual reality has nearly taken over reality. Everyone – from corporate executives, mothers, grandfathers, even to kids – have been so engulfed in trying to escape their realities (due to poverty/overpopulation/pollution/corruption/climate change) that they have immersed themselves in OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation), a virtual world created by James Halliday.
The plot revolves around Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a timid, torpe teenager from the slums who has an avatar in the OASIS. Named Parzival, his avatar is his exact opposite; Parzival is more extroverted and gutsy compared to our protagonist, but their personalities converge with their critical thinking skills. Sheridan’s portrayal of both characters goes beyond the movie screen with his ability to make his audience sympathize with his character.
With amazing visual effects and an at-par cast, you wouldn’t want to see the words “Game Over” on your screens. Packed with tito/tita references and cameos from some of your favorite video game characters (spoiler: watch out for OVERWATCH and Chuckie!), this movie will keep you hanging on to your seat, waiting and anticipating for the next turn to happen. And while the movie’s strength is its rollercoaster pacing, its weakness lies in the lack of development in its supporting characters. The lack of a better background for the remaining members of High 5, (I promise I won’t spoil much, but High 5 is Parzival and 4 other friends – Art3mis, Aech (pronounced just like the letter H), Sho, and Daito) who are in the top 5 of the scoreboard in OASIS) brings into question some of the members’ motives for getting into OASIS. And yet, this is exactly what ties this movie together with the culture of video games – where the concept of character background among supporting characters are uncommon.
Despite the distinct differences this movie had compared to the novel, it’s nice to have an actual visual grasp of the world you are reading, and Ready Player One certainly delivered.
On the lighter side of things, after leaving the cinema, aside from praising the movie’s soundtrack and scoring (I’m STILL upset; “Take On Me” by A-Ha did not make it to the film and only in the trailer – probably the only legit downside to the film I see and recognize), the only other thing I had in mind was: “WOW ANG LAKI NG BUDGET NILA!” (English: Wow! They must’ve spent a lot on this movie); from remaking some portions of The Shining, to cameo appearances of well-known video game characters like the HUGE Mecha-Godzilla, the sensational characters from Overwatch, Mobile Suit Gundam, Street Fighter’s ever feisty Chun-Li, to the creepy Chuckie, and even as far as showing references to iconic movies and TV shows like the DeLorean from Back to the Future or the Mach 5 from Speed Racer, you’ll surely enjoy all the easter eggs you’ll find in this easter egg hunt-centric movie!
Here’s a tip: pay close Attention to the Librarian and also the contract Parzival/Wade signs after he gets all three hidden keys. It’s IMPORTANT. It’s the scenes after this:
Ready Player One comes out March 31, 2018 nationwide.