DVD: Ready Player One
Some years ago, I was recommended an unknown (at least to me) book by a good mate, Drew. That book was Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. It became pretty much one of my favourite books of all time. But then I am an 80’s kid. However it was more than just nostalgia, it was Cline’s writing style that resonated with me so much that I soon purchased his collection of poetry and short stories called The Importance of Being Ernest, and of course pre-ordered 2015’s Amarda.
So you could say that I’m a bit of a fan.
Which is also a bit of a problem.
Excited I was when the film was announced, but come the first trailer and excitement turned to apprehension and doubt. My favourite book was about to be destroyed by one of our greatest Directors. The trailer’s transition from real world Wade to the Oasis’ Parzival was just too cheesy for me. The whole thing fell apart. I was legitimately devastated.
But faith I had in Cline and Spielberg, and that faith was enough to allow a ember of hope to burn in me.
The film takes a little time setting the scene, telling the story of the Stacks, and Wade’s sad life, but when Wade first puts on his googles, as he does in the trailer it was still a little underwhelming for me. Be that as it may, when the story started to kick in, everything just faded into the background and I was hooked, drawn into the mesmerizing spectacle of the Oasis, and the outside struggle for control.
So much so, that by the end of the film, I relalised that I had barely touched my popcorn or drink, a sure sign of a great film.
You don’t have to have read the book to enjoy Ready Player One, everything is laid out for you, and is believable and engaging, not only with action, but plenty of pop-culture references for everyone to enjoy. So many in fact that multiple viewings would be required if you wanted to spot them all. At it’s core it’s a romantic fairytale, but it’s also an 80’s gamers wet dream.
If you have read the book – and you really should if you haven’t, but perhaps leave it till after the film now – you’ll probably have realised that it’s going to differ significantly from the book. And it does, some times majorly. But don’t worry, it all works perfectly and delivers a visual retelling of the book in a way you could never imagine, in a way that breaths new life into the story and keeps you laughing whilst perched on the edge of your seat despite knowing what happens at the end.
If you love special effects driven, dystopian action films with plenty of humour and a killer soundtrack, then Ready Player One won’t disappoint. If you’re not into all that jazz, I still wholeheartedly recommend you go see Ready Player One, it probably has something in there that will resonate with you.
Rating: M Violence & offensive language.