Pop Cultures current obsession with the 80’s is at its strongest right now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be changing anytime soon. With the recent release of “Ready Player One” from the 80s movie master himself, Steven Spielberg, we are able to enter and immerse ourselves into an extraordinary world of pure imagination. Well, Ernest Cline’s world of imagination in this case.
The story, written by Cline and published in 2011, follows the main protagonist and unsung hero Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), as he takes on a quest to find the hidden easter egg within the virtual reality world, The Oasis, left behind by the worlds eccentric yet devoted creator James Halliday (Mark Rylance). To find the egg, players must locate and retrieve 3 keys by unlocking cryptic clues and proving their worth, to be able to complete the collective challenge that grants the finder full inheritance and ownership over The Oasis.
Seamlessly combining the two worlds with astonishing effects and animation throughout, it is nothing but easy to become instantly detached from the reality around you and get lost in the numerous action sequences, consistent movement between enthralling and enchanting locations, and the underlying messages and themes within the film.
With a run time of 2 hours and 20 minutes, the film presents us with a surprisingly large amount of insight into the journeys of the ‘real’ world characters, as well as the virtual reality personas. Character development is limited but still visible, and the progressive relationship between the films leads, Wade (Sheridan) and Samantha (Olivia Cooke), is displayed through some endearing and unexpectedly lengthy scenes.
Alan Silvestri provides a magical and inspiring score to accompany the visuals, which at times provokes a sentimental yet uplifting response. With hints of similarities to his dazzling and notable music for the “Back to the Future” trilogy, the same hopeful and adventurous feeling is evident, and equally as contagious. Combined with a popular and infectious 80s soundtrack, featuring songs such as Van Halen’s “Jump”, and “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates, the music is instrumental in setting and achieving the perfect tone for this film.
Whilst the film offers a captivating and attractive look into a dystopian and futuristic reality, the feeling is nothing but nostalgic. With a number of references and nods to unforgettable classic 80s films, such as “Back To The Future” and “The Breakfast Club”, this film will transport you into both an unknown, and reminiscent world. Ready Player One is a purely entrancing cinematic experience from start to finish.
By Lauren Macaree