Ready Player 1

So this movie was almost certainly something. I probably won’t be able to tell you what, so if you’re coming to this film review fo to get an idea of just what in the holy half a meatball Ready Player One is about, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. But here goes.

So there’s this nerdy guy who likes video games and movies and all that nerdy stuff (because, you know, no one else likes video games and movies), and this nerdy guy is really good at computers and stuff so he makes a big video game world or whatever. And it’s the future so everyone’s poor and sad and corporations have taken over, so people spend a ton of time in the video game world so as not to be all sad in their weird trailer home skyscrapers. And the nerdy guy hid an easter egg (get it!!!) in the game. Whoever finds it first gets to own the whole universe, which seems pretty ridiculous, business-wise, but whatever. 

Alright. Spoilers ahead.

So our main character, Wade Watts (and yes, they make reference to the fact that his name sounds like a comic book character) lost his parents or something. I’m gonna be honest, I was like ten minutes late for the movie, so maybe I missed some character exposition in that time, but I really doubt it. And I’m sure it was all done in super hacky-lazy voice over, so honestly, I’m glad I missed it. But so Wade Watts lives with his aunt (who he, at one point, refers to as “my mom’s sister” which just sounds really weird, but I digress) and her abusive husband. The abusive husband is really grody, and has long hair and tattoos and stuff, but don’t worry, because he gets BLOWN UP like right away! I swear to god! The evil corporation sees the Wade is winning the big contest deal-io and they aren’t having none of that because if they don’t earn the rights to the video game universe then they won’t be able to put a bunch of advertisements on the V.R. screens or whatever it is they’re trying to do so they just decide to BLOW WADE UP! And like it’s barely referenced! Wade is a bit cranky at the guy who organized the blast, but he gets over it right away. So that felt ridiculous. And also the evil corporation guy gets arrested by just the normal police at the end of the movie, and so I couldn’t help but think, “Well, where and the hell were the police when this evil guy was blowing up the trailer park?” 

So that was a lot of focus on a couple of scenes, but I think it’s fairly representative of the film at large

Oh, and this movie is supposed to take place in the future (2030’s, I think) but every reference is from the 80’s. There’s a huge scene that takes place in The Shining’s hotel. So, I’ve never seen the shining, and though I know I should, I’m quite skeptical that it will be massively important in the 2030’s. Also, the main character’s favorite movie is Buckaroo Bonzai, another movie that I have not seen, and also a movie that came out in the 80’s. That was 50+ years ago, in the world of the film, so why are the characters still talking about it? I guess the movie kind of says that the nerdy computer guy who made the game experienced all these things as a child, and so included them in the game, but wouldn’t the references be a bit updated? I don’t know. 

By the way, I should add that referencing something isn’t good writing. This whole movie is basically an exercise in staring at the screen and occasionally thinking to oneself, “Oh, hey, that’s a thing that exists. Wow. Other people know about this thing that I like that exists. Holy cow.”

But the C.G.I. is super dope and there’s some real cool action scenes. Mecha-Godzilla fights the Iron Giant. King Kong smashes up some race cars. So whatever. I’m being elitist. But jesus, is it impossible for the hundred+ million dollar films to hire a decent writer? I don’t know. I’m too old for these movies, I guess.