It has been quite some time since I last updated this blog. Life has been really hectic with a lot of changes, including a new job which has consumed a lot of my hours. However, now I have some time and want to return to this blog. For my return I have thought that there is no better moment than right now to talk about Ready Player One, the film by Steven Spielberg based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline. I had read the book a couple of years ago so coming into this movie I was very excited.
Ready Player One is the ultimate nerd fantasy, a videogame without limits, where everything is possible and full of the most awesome pop culture references. However, all of this traits that made the book so unique also made a film adaptation very difficult. Thus walking into this movie I was a bit apprehensive but yet hopeful, after all this was a movie directed by the great Steven Spielberg and the trailers so far had been really entertaining. After watching the movie I can without a doubt say that it completely delivered. The film was great fun all around and was a very good adaptation of the heart and tone of the book.
There were some significant changes to the book, especially in regards to the tests that the characters must do in order to find the Easter Egg, but those changes were well thought out. The tests the characters do in the book are good fun and very nerdy but they would have been very difficult to translate into film and as such they found good replacements that kept alive the spirit of the book showing us good nerdy fun. The film had a fast pacing that did not drag at any point and all of this was complimented by astounding special effects that made the OASIS world seem incredibly real.
The movie is not without its faults, at some points of the film the pace feels a bit too rushed and as such some of the character development is lost. This can be seen in the love story between the two main characters which does feel a bit empty as we are not given enough time between them to see that love grow. That said this is mostly offset by the great performances of the actors. All of the cast is able to bring out the traits that defined the characters in the book, the traits that made them so relatable for all of us nerds.
But perhaps the biggest challenge that this film faced was to have a lot of 80s nostalgia without overindulging in the nostalgia. Nostalgia for the 80s has become a staple of nerd culture and can now be seen in many films and TV series (as well as comics and books) but just like the book this feels more like an ode to that time, an ode to the simplicity of films and games back then. This is all tempered with hidden references to more modern games and films. Some critics have commented on the fact that this film relies too much on the nostalgia factor, but in my opinion this is exactly what you are looking for in this film.
Overall this was a great, fun filled film with a lot of heart. It provided exactly what I was looking for and had me entertained for the whole time I was in the theatre. If you are looking for a film that provides nostalgia as well as an ode to nerd culture, Ready Player One is without a doubt your film (and do check out the novel, you will not be disappointed).