"Ready Player One" Movie Review

Updated on January 3, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Ready Player One
Ready Player One | Source

The self-proclaimed “holy grail of pop culture” has finally found its way to the cineplex, almost eight years after Warner Bros. snatched up the rights. And with Steven Spielberg at the helm, all of geek-dom is abuzz. Though fans of the Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One may be split on the end result (the plot strays early and often), taken by itself the film is a knock-your-socks-off thing of beauty. Full of nerd-tastic 80s references (Back to the Future’s DeLorean, an Atari 2600, and a Rubik’s Cube all play vital roles), it’s the ultimate inside joke, provided you’re over the age of 35. But if you’re too young to know Beetlejuice from Battlestar Galactica, fear not. There’s more than enough dazzling visual effects and a break-neck scenes to make your head spin with child-like glee.

Tye Sheridan stars as Wade Watts, a loner teenager living with his aunt in overcrowded Columbus, Ohio, thirty years in the future. He spends every waking moment as his avatar Parzival in the OASIS, a virtual world created by tech pioneer James Halliday (Mark Rylance). In his will, Halliday bequeaths his trillion-dollar empire and complete control of the OASIS to anyone who can solve three near-impossible puzzles and find a final easter egg, therefore proving his or her worth as the ultimate geek god.

While a well-meaning gunters (egg-hunters), including Wade, have some fun poking around, evil corporate behemoth IOI is on a mission to beat the challenges and win control of the OASIS. IOI bigwig Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) has hired an army of tech wizards to while away their days working on the puzzles.

Once Wade figures out and wins the first challenge, things kick into high-gear, prompting Sorrento to step up his efforts and pull out all the nefarious stops he can in order to keep Wade from getting any further. Wade, meanwhile, teams up with fellow gunters Aech (Lena Waithe) and Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) to stay ahead in the game, and the race for the control of the future is on.

The mile-a-minute script, which Cline co-wrote with Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand), resembles the original novel only in the broadest of plot points, a fact that may leave devotees feeling like they just lost their last life at the arcade. But if you take the movie as more of an accompaniment or supplement to the book, there’s no way to leave the theater without a huge grin and a lingering sense of deep nostalgia for the good ol’ days of Space Invaders and Galaga.

At the same time It’s damn near impossible to reconcile the fact that the director, just three months ago, was chatting up his latest project, the Oscar-nominated The Post—a movie as far from the 3D, high-tech world of the OASIS as Richard Nixon is from Pitfall Harry. Spielberg may well be cinema’s greatest chameleon, a top-of-the-heap auteur who is as comfortable coaxing a nuanced performance out of Meryl Streep as he is shepherding what looks like it may be the most visually game-changing movie of all time.

From its opening scene (set to Van Halen’s anthemic “Jump”, naturally) to the eminently satisfying conclusion (to the tune of Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams”, duh), Ready Player One is the ultimate eye candy, a non-stop roller coaster of pop culture goodness that asks nothing more of you than to just just sit back, strap in, and enjoy. Just leave your book at the door.


4.5/5 stars

Worth the 3D glasses?

All day, every day. Do not pass up the plastic specs on this one, folks. They're well worth it.

'Ready Player One' trailer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)