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Ready Player One

Ready Player One: A New Spielberg Classic

  • Ben MendelsohnOlivia Cooke...
  • Action & Adventure
  • Steven Spielberg
reviewed by
Nader Issa
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Ready Player One: A New Spielberg Classic

Based on the acclaimed novel of the same title by Ernest Cline, Steven Spielberg’s latest film, Ready Player One, follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan); a young man who embarks on an adventure in the virtual world of the Oasis that is the final creation by James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who leaves an Easter Egg for the players within the game to find, and be rewarded with complete control of the Oasis.

Ready Player One, as a novel, is considered by many to be ‘the holy grail of pop culture’, mainly due to the massive amount of character appearances and references found throughout the novel. As a film, it was considered for a long time as unadaptable due to the prodigious scale of the novel and massive character copyrights that would need to be shared with other film studios, and therefore a hindrance to a faithful adaptation.

From the very first scene, Spielberg introduces audiences to the remarkable visual style of the film by meticulously adapting Cline’s dystopian virtual world. The film never ceases for a moment to showcase characters and references that even the most hardcore cinephiles and gamers couldn’t catch all in every scene.

Spielberg makes the virtual world of the Oasis so vivid and real that you tend to lose yourself in its range. The film’s fast pace takes you through such a rush of visual imagery, that you’ll constantly be seeking out references and characters you might know. Not just that, Spielberg creates sequences of pure adrenaline, such as an opening car chase that utilizes sound effects in such a breathtaking manner, you can’t help but be engrossed in the scene and the urgency of it.

Yet, Spielberg is, first and foremost, a story teller, who takes the time needed to make you care for the characters outside of the Oasis, by taking a grounded approach towards making them relatable, as well as grasping what the Oasis means to each of them, which is an escape from reality.

Ready Player One could’ve easily been written as a hollow and shallow blockbuster experience, but Spielberg instead opts to write a screenplay, along with Cline, that not only captures the visual style of the novel, but also the character-driven heart of the novel. The film’s only downfall is that, despite touching on the importance of maintaining one’s own identity and not escaping reality, it never delves into the theme as deeply as the novel.

That shouldn’t take away from the fact that Spielberg’s film is a visual and storytelling masterpiece. In referencing some of the most iconic films of our time, Spielberg himself has created an iconic film on its own. Its feel-good approach, along with the amount of character appearances and cameos, make the film one that is easily enjoyable to re-watch, and will most likely to go down as another Spielberg classic, along with the likes of E.T and Jurassic Park.


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WarGames (1983), Jurassic Park (1993) and E.T. (1982)

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