Ever felt like immersing yourself in a completely different world? How about a world set in the future (2045 to be exact) where the impossible is possible and the limited, unlimited? Well it seems like Steven Spielberg’s new film release of Ready Player One may be exactly that.
Spielberg's sci-fi adventure is an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s popular novel and Zak Penn’s The Matrix grimly set in the year 2045 where the real world has diminished in poverty and unrest, hence the reason for most civilians occupying their time in an online virtual reality world named The Oasis. James Halliday (Mark Rylance), the forefather and mastermind behind the virtual realm has passed on and left behind his wealth, riches, and complete power over the Oasis to whichever civilian can finish a scavenger hunt and various sets of obstacles, challenges and tricks in the Oasis formed around Halliday’s childhood in the 80’s.
Nevertheless, high school friendless student and orphan Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) lives in the Ohio trailer park towers; where he fully grasps and engrosses himself in the concept of the Oasis in his humble abode where he becomes a dedicated, passionate and obsessive player of the game. He and his team mates Aech (Lena Waithe), rival Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), Daito (Win Morisaki) and Shoto (Philip Zhao) collaborate to face and battle the menacing corporation, IOI.
It appears that there is no stopping for the game, as Spielberg smashes the target once again by hitting US$180 million (S$236 million) after only a week being at the global box office, and critics say that the figure will keep soaring like the unlimited possibilities of the Oasis.
An evident factor that stands out in this film are the glorious visuals that send you into another dimension of the unknown, yet you want to know more about this Oasis.Spielberg does an absolutely splendid job in composing a collective imagery of The Matrix meets Neo Tokyo, thus anyone who sees this film will be immensely impressed with the colors, tones and highlights that will send your sight into an element of enthralling surprise.
The film also fits well with a plethora of demographic audiences such as movie junkies, gamers, avid music fans, graphic designers and let’s not forget anyone who was lucky enough to grace the age of the 80’s in their youth, this film makes sure to stay true to viewers from all walks of life. Without spoiling too much of the film, Spielberg’s respectful tribute and homage to The Shining (Stanley Kubrick) as well his well thought out action scenes and battles during the climax are what encompass this film to be the success that it is.
However, there are always room for some flaws in every film. With this one, there was quite a large disconnect between the virtual avatars and their real world forms seeing as their physical form continuously changed throughout the film, making it a bit hard for the viewer to distinguish the character’s authentic traits. The accentuated visuals may have outweighed some parts where character development was necessary and relevant.
Nevertheless, Spielberg’s overall adaptation receives a tick of approval from my books. His message and idea about staying authentic to real life vs virtual reality is evident and the cliché nemesis corporate takeovers may be underwhelming; but it’s visuals certainly are a game-changer.