'Ready Player One' - lame game
Sometimes, real life gets to be more than anyone can bear. Whether it's the ills of the world or your own personal failings, everyone needs a way to escape it all. For many, that's just what the movies are for a chance to be transported to another world full of endless possibilities. So what better way than to tell the story of the Oasis the virtual reality simulation that's the driving force of the story in Ready Player One.
Based on the novel of the same name, Ready Player One follows Wade Watts. Wade lives in the year 2045, in the stacks - an overpopulated city that has such little space, homes are literally stacked on top of each other. Not exactly the Hamptons. Still, Wade doesn't mind much. All he needs are a special pair of gloves, a headset, and he's adrift in the Oasis, a world where he can be anything, anywhere.
Viewers unfamiliar with the story will have little issue grasping the film's concept. The first act takes its time to weave a strong foundation, giving you the ins and outs of how the world works. The trouble is, it seems unable to stop itself. Long after viewers have been made familiar with what they're watching, Ready Player One continues to pummel them with information.
It wouldn't be so bad if this were merely world building, but the film is not content until every facet is thoroughly and needlessly explained - mostly by the main character's grating narration. Even character arcs are victims here, with the film coming to a grinding halt as if to explain the moral of the story, as if the audience is made up entirely of toddlers.
It's hard to imagine just who Ready Player One is for. At any given time, the frame will be populated by film references dating all the way back to King Kong, but the story is told with as much emotional intelligence as an episode of Sesame Street. Nevertheless, when the film isn't suffering under its own insecurity, it is enjoyable just to watch the execution of a concept that is on its own intriguing. If only the film could understand that.
Rating: Catch it on cable.