mtl Movie Reviews by The Dove Foundation
Ready Player One
Runtime: 140 minutes
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance
Director: Steven Spielberg
Sex: Many references, but no onscreen acts
Language: At least one of each of "F***", "A**", Sh**", and "Da**"; crude remarks
Violence: Many sequences of sci-fi action and violence, mainly video game-style
Drugs: Some background drinking
Nudity: Back, side, and legs of a nude woman are scene; female lead is often scantily clad; scantily clad women in the background
Integrity: Theme of technology seen as both a blessing and a curse, and connecting with others in real life is more important; perseverance and teamwork also are stressed.
When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.
The future is not too distant in Spielberg's newest sci-fi adventure, Ready Player One. Based on the 2011 novel by Ernest Cline, this dystopian story follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) in the year 2045 when the people of planet Earth live more in the OASIS, a virtual world of endless possibilities, than they do in reality.
When the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) passes away, he wills his virtual world and its accompanying fortune worth a half-trillion dollars to the player who can find the Easter egg hidden deep within the endless universe created by Halliday. The poverty-stricken Wade Wates fights—or maybe I should say his OASIS avatar, Parzival, fights—alongside millions to win the game, including the beautiful Art3mis (Olivia Cook), his best friend H (Lena Waithe), and the sleek, multi-billion-dollar corporation made up of thousands of players, Innovation Online Industries (IOI for short), which wants to bring the OASIS under corporate control.
But as Earth's population vies for Halliday's Easter egg, it's the unlikely Wade Watts, deluded with grandeur but brilliant enough to become the leader of the pack in solving Halliday's treasure hunt. As the hunt continues, it becomes clear that a battle of such extreme size, albeit virtual, cannot be limited to the fictional world of the OASIS. The task of solving the Halliday puzzles come with much higher stakes, and in order to win, Wade will have to solve the mysteries left behind in the OASIS which, he discovers, have much more to do with the real world than he previously thought.
Ready Player One is a film of seemingly unlimited scope and size. It's a story designed to make you feel like you're soaking in a hot tub of 80s nostalgia, with endless pop-culture references and copious amounts of lasers, holograms, and... you know, future stuff. In addition, it's a film geared towards the brain of the average teenage boy from the early 2000s, complete with dinosaurs, racecars, and pink-skinned avatar girls to fall in love with. The movie opens with an eerie depiction of a world given over to the extreme possibilities of virtual reality, all of which can be summed up as action-packed, fast-paced and quite indulgent.
As such, it will come as no surprise that the OASIS comes complete with a fair amount of services that might be inappropriate for kids. While the film never explores in depth the scandalous possibilities of the sorts of virtual experiences one might partake, the fact of the matter is, you get the picture. Wade Watts' adventure is one of racing fast cars, upgrading his arsenal of expensive weapons, fighting magical foes and solving mysteries, but nevertheless, he's doing all of it in a world where anything is possible, and enough possibilities are shown/referenced that Dove cannot approve Ready Player One.
While this movie might not be the most suitable for your kids, it does offer some thought-provoking ideas concerning the virtual epidemic of our modern world. While it has been suggested that the book may offer more in the way of social commentary, Spielberg's flashy rendering holds its own in challenging the fine line of enjoying a virtual adventure and using a game as a way to escape real life. Especially in the beginning, the viewer is given a somewhat grotesque picture of men, women and children of all shapes and sizes living out their days within a digital environment which doesn't actually exist. Real-life problems are seen as nuisances at best, and something worthy of escaping entirely at their worst. I won't spoil the ending, but you're left wondering how much time spent within these virtual universes we've constructed is healthy, and how much becomes dangerous. When do the consequences of our gaming begin to leak into real life? Ready Player One seems to be first, and foremost, a sci-fi adventure meant to be fun, yet one you can definitely skip of you're not up for the more questionable content. But if you see it, take the time to explore the deeper questions.
Not Dove Family Approved
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