Monday, March 26, 2018

Ready Player One - Movie Review (4.5/5 Stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Ready Player One is 80s and 90s pop culture extravaganza like no other. I am amazed at the range of Steven Spielberg, no one can tell that this movie is coming from the person behind movies like The Post, Bridge of Spies, Lincoln etc. Ready Player One creates a unique world of its own with all the elements of 80s/90s pop culture and futuristic science fiction experience infused perfectly.

This science fiction action adventure from Spielberg is based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name. The film is set in dystopian 2045 and follows protagonist Wade Watts on his quest for an Easter egg in a worldwide virtual reality game called OASIS. The story is not as simple as it sounds, and stakes are very high as there is an evil organization opposing him along with the whole world as whoever finds it first will inherit the game creator's fortune. The film takes the audience through a reality-bending treasure hunt through a digital world of mystery, magic and adventure.
Spielberg directed the film from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline. Screenplay is crisp and engaging. There is not a single dull moment. Screenplay is fast paced but still gives enough time to deal with all the elements like romance, action and adventure beautifully.

Usually in such movies directors get carried away with the unique medium which is part of the story and actual focus on the story or the real world is lost but this is not the case here. Spielberg has used both worlds (OASIS and Real World) effectively to tell this story with equal focus. That’s why fully CGIed world of OASIS never over powers the whole experience and one never feels like watching an animated movie or a video game. The film never stalls and move through both worlds smoothly with perfect balance.
Tye Sheridan is very convincing as an ordinary Wade Watts in real world and his ordinariness elevates the coolness factor of his OASIS avatar Parzival. the other cast members are equally impressive. The cast is very diverse which adds another dimension to story and enhance overall experience.

CGI work is superb, I believe DC needs to take classes from the makers here. the OASIS sequences are 100% created through CGI but never even once CGI gets silly or over powering like in many recent high budget movies. Action adventure treasure hunt sequences are choreographed/directed brilliantly and will keep you glued to the cinema screen.
I thoroughly enjoyed identifying all my favorite elements from the 80 and 90s pop culture spread in Easter egg sort of manner throughout the film.

For those who enjoy dystopian sci fi fantasy cinematic experiences and love pop culture from 80s/ 90s, this movie is pure gold. For rest it’s still a very unique visual and engaging entertaining show. I will call it improved Sci Fi version of Harry Potter and go with 4.5 stars.

In the end I would like to thank Warner Bros ME and Shooting Star Games for the media screening invite + Dubai Mall VR world experience and making this review possible.

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