Ready Player One was originally a novel written by Ernest Cline in 2011. The story focuses on Wade aka Parzival(Online username), played by Tye Sheridan, who is a gamer living in the year 2045 who spends a majority of his free time in a virtual world by the name of Oasis. When Halliday, the creator of Oasis played by Mark Rylance, announces after his death that he is leaving his fortune and control of Oasis to the one who completes three tasks. The entire player base goes on a mission to complete the challenges for years. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg, follows the book for the most part while also changing various aspects. Despite these changes, the film still came out incredible.
The biggest strength of Ready Player One is the overwhelming amount of pop culture references included in every single scene. The entire experience feels like a middle schooler’s day dream watching Jason from Friday the 13th fight on the same battlefield as Raynor from Starcraft. I can recall reading the novel so many years ago and doubting it could ever come to the big screen because of just how many references they had included. Sure enough, they not only included the IPs mentioned in the book but updated the film to have modern games such as Minecraft, Overwatch, and more.
Speaking of updating the film, there was also the addition of the nefarious I-Rok, played by T.J. Miller, who supported the main antagonist Sorrento, played by Ben Mendelsohn. I-Rok is not in the novel and helps bring comedic relief to the film, which isn’t a bad change to make in the slightest. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, there were major character deaths and development that were either heavily changed or ripped from the story. The effect on the film resulted in plot holes in regards of communication, travel, and time. In one scene, a character is seen texting on her phone and the next three supporting characters from different parts of the world suddenly appear to help the main character with little to no good explanation.
If you can suspend your disbelief enough to finish the film, you are rewarded with quality animation and action scenes that portray this futuristic world in a proper light. Anyone who watches Ready Player One will find something to enjoy as they pull from almost every fandom from video games, movies, anime, and so on. I doubt another film would be possible as its major strength is in its references and now that this card has been played, every attempt after will be dull.