(Spoilers ahead you have been warned)
Ready Player One is an adventure of digital gaming awesomeness, filled with more pop culture Easter eggs than you can keep up with, and you wont want it to end.
The main character Wade Watts, and his in game character Parzival, are instantly lovable as the geek loser of every underdog story ever told. He and just about everyone on the planet, enter the gaming world of the Oasis daily to escape the horrible, overpopulated place Earth has become.
The Oasis is a virtual reality haven for losers and nerds and it is in danger of losing what makes it so special, no rules and total freedom. You can be any TV, movie, video game character you want or even an animal, plant, your own creation just absolutely anything and travel into worlds of pure imagination having grand adventures.
Enter the main villain Sorrento, a "fake geek" in a suit who is oddly likeable. The owner of a major corporation he seeks control of the Oasis (shockingly) to make more money. His plans include everything we hate about the digital world, being spammed with ads.
His team of "6-ers", the people paid to play the game for him, are forgettable. But the geek pack who come up with all the pop culture answers to the "clues" are all of us watching this movie screaming out the Easter eggs in our head and cheering on the heroes.
Wade and his rag-tag band of friends string together during the film in real life. They must stop Sorrento or lose the imaginary world they know and love forever. Scenes like a zombie ball, a crazy race dodging King Kong & Jurassic Park's T-Rex and a fake Alien chest-burster will forever be burned in my brain.
How the team comes together to fight the challenges in this world of geek-everything is heart warming and side splitting funny.
The co-stars of the film are funny and well played by some unfamiliar faces and they make a great team. There is banter galore and pop culture references at every turn.
The movie's main drama is focused on the creator of the Oasis passing away and leaving 3 keys hidden in the game that will unlock the ultimate Easter Egg. This egg gives a Trillion dollars in stock and control of the Oasis to the person who gets it. So the hunt is on for Wade, his team and Sorrento. Throughout the finding of the keys there are movie Easter eggs littered everywhere, from playing the Back to the Future theme to a copy of The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy on a random table.
The movie also shows just about every video game character ever made including the gang from Halo and Pokemon in an all out giant battle scene (complete with lava) which is the highlight of the film. Watching hundreds of iconic characters come together to fight "evil" was the stuff my geek dreams are made of. I give the movie 5 stars, it is everything the trailers promise, an escape to a much cooler limitless place, a battle for what is right and a constant parade of geek-goodness.
But there were a few things I wished were in the film that weren't and I'm not doing a book comparison here just a few things I think they could have included to make the movie whole. When Samantha/Art3mis "kidnaps" Wade and welcomes him to "the resistance" I wish they would have gone into a few moments of explaining who the "resistance" is and how they all came together. It is just left assumed how they came to be living in a hidden place working together-ish to find the Easter Egg, and it felt like the scenes were left wanting.
Also an unsung favorite of the film for me was the villian I-R0k, and for anyone who has ever played an online game you know exactly who this guy is in your circle. Played perfectly by the comedic T.J. Miller he has some of the best jokes and actually makes you grow to love him. What I was sad about was not ever getting to see him in the real world. All the other characters with that much screen time are showed in real life except him. I wish the movie would have had a scene showing him pissed as hell after losing all his gear stomping around in his mom's basement or something. That would have been a great end credit's scene, if the movie had one, which sadly it does not. I-R0k deserved to have a full real world character experience.
As far as kids go I took my 12 year old son and he loved the movie, he was however a bit nervous during a scene where all of the characters go into a world that is an exact replica of Kubrick's movie The Shining. He hadn't seen the movie but it recreates some of the scariest scenes and does not hold back.
Though the movie is littered with children's favorites like Hello Kitty and the Ninja Turtles it is not for little ones, there is a good deal of cursing, artfully covered nudity, jump scares and one perfectly placed f-bomb. So leave the smaller kiddos at home, for everyone else go see it right now.
This movie rocked and I left the theater feeling energized and ready to take on the world. We are going to see it again next weekend because there is no possible way you can catch everything the fist time. You definitely want to see this on the big screen so get your tickets now noobs!
A special thank you to CT & Co. for my tickets and swag bag. This post was a partnership with WB movies.