We live in the post-modernism era where pop culture is everything. We got video games, anime, series, shows, soap operas, music, films, everything in this era, we are trying to reach everything. Such pop culture trying to fulfill our lives while being a part of reality and society. In the modern era, there is a limit so that it is difficult for us to look for new ideas, new material, and new cultures. In this era, everything can be anything whether a genre from any medium, you can modify it as good, interesting, or as you wish.
Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” is set in the city of Columbus in the future. The story underlies a world where technology is our daily food of humankind, especially video games. However, the world is no longer a suitable place to live because people prefer to live in OASIS. OASIS is a virtual reality universe where you can be anything. The creator of OASIS (Mark Rylance), before he died, designed a last game in the world. He hid easter eggs somewhere in the OASIS network.
These three easter eggs will deliver players to get gold eggs in the form of a contract in full control of OASIS. Countless numbers of people whether gamers or non-gamers try it yet they can’t. The story focuses more on Tye Sheridan as Wade along with his friends trying to find the easter eggs. However, the virtual reality company has the same intention as millions of users in the virtual reality world.
In terms of visuals, “Ready Player One” has many eye-candy and fanservice sequences. Steven Spielberg seems to have grown up with these pop culture in the 80s, especially classic games in the form of “Super Mario Bros.”, “Metroid”, and etc. There are so many spoiled visuals in this film, combining the pop culture into one, and become an amazing sequence. However, the movie didn’t really portray what the protagonist thought. While the scene is overwhelming, how quickly we see that it’s all over.
Every shot in this movie is smooth, the score, the sound effect, like watching modern culture with so many subtext and intertextuality. Spielberg understands and adjusts what was in the original material. The readers even found an additional scene it wasn’t in the book. But, I also don’t think there are too many sequences. Moreover, I sometimes laugh what if the audience, especially millennial kids don’t understand the pop culture in this film. One of them is “The Shining” because this movie uses the film as the main setting in the main story.
Apart from all which, there are 200 more references in this film, just passing by, and finally feels bland. Meanwhile, this connection between characters and references makes us no longer think of the main protagonist, antagonist, and the main plot. The movie plays throughout like teen misadventures films such as “The Goonies” or “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”. There is a forced scene like the romantic relationship between Wade and Olivia Cooke’s Art3mis. The plot doesn’t seem too important if fanservice makes you forget. Apparently, this technique did it successfully.
In addition, “Ready Player One” is a movie about reality even though it’s really easy to distinguish between reality and video games. Like the internet, OASIS is a virtual world where you are more comfortable living than the real world. The movie explores hyper-reality and escapism messages very well. Social media and the internet are one of the insecure opium tools; expressing the deepest emotions from behind a computer or avatar in OASIS.
In terms of satire, the movie is great. It develops what humankind really wants to know, how to describe this future. When their confidence has been lost, the internet or OASIS is the only escape. We will never interact or socialize face to face again. Instead, we prefer to hide than face to face. It’s kind of irony at this part too.
“Ready Player One” is a movie for geeky and nerdy but really it’s for everyone who really loves living in this era of modernization. In terms of quality, the movie is just average but in terms of satire, this movie really hit it. The film conveys its message well in the context of video games, family, and the real world. A classic from Spielberg, roused by pop culture references from the 80s. This movie gives an amazing exploration but not for the exposition.
3.5 out of 5 stars.