‘Ready Player One’ is dumb, but fun


In a dystopian future, the world has buried itself within an immersive virtual world called the Oasis that soon becomes a staple of everyday life.

When the founder of the Oasis, James Halliday, dies, he leaves his immense fortune and control of the Oasis to whoever can find all three keys and unlock his “easter egg.” When Wade Watts conquers the first challenge, he puts in motion a race for the future of the Oasis, and the world.


“Ready Player One” is all flash but no substance, offering great visuals and entertaining action with a plot that doesn’t entirely hold up. Which isn’t really the film’s purpose. It is meant to be a fun experience, a classic “popcorn movie” in every sense, which it succeeds at doing, but likely won’t leave any lasting effect on audiences other than being a good waste of time.

The visuals really are the highlight of “Ready Player One.” The opportunities given by creating a film in a no-consequence virtual world are limitless, which director Steven Spielberg certainly uses to his advantage.

One of the main appeals of the marketing for “Ready Player One” is an abundance of pop culture culture references to both the ’80s and to video gaming, which makes sense for a film effectively set in a nationwide video game.

One of the major concerns for “Ready Player One” prior to the film’s release was that the film would devolve into nothing more than pop culture references. It’s done well enough to be more fun than it is grating.

“Ready Player One” has the kind of basic Spielberg plot that’s simple enough to know the entire plot off the film 20 minutes into the two-and-a-half hour runtime. There’s no surprises, nothing remotely interesting played around with story wise, or really anything new.

It’s a very straightforward no-risk film that adds nothing to cinema and will likely be forgotten in a few years. The only interesting thing decision was a visual choice made later in the film based off  a popular film from the ’80s which was done surprisingly well.

The acting was largely good, outside of a few awkward lines of dialogue. The main character, Wade Watts, was a rather bland character who was surrounded by far more interesting companions, but did his job of pushing along the plot well enough. Much like the film he stars in, he doesn’t do anything special.

Despite its faults,“Ready Player One” really is a fun movie. It may start unraveling once any serious thought is put into the films plot or the rules of the world it lives in, such as people running around outside in VR goggles but never falling over or bumping into their surroundings.  Or how it took over five years for a single person to find the first key, but that’s not important.

The film’s job is to deliver an entertaining experience, and “Ready Player One” delivers.

“Ready Player One” has a runtime of two hours and twenty minutes, and is rated PG-13.