Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One was thought to be one of those rare books that would never be able to make its way to the big screen, simply because of the sheer magnitude of everything that goes on throughout those few hundred pages of magic. So, when director Steven Spielberg was announced to helm a movie adaptation, fans' jaws dropped to the floor. Fortunately, Spielberg is the one person capable of doing the impossible and making this work.
Now that Ready Player One is available via home release, we decided to check out the film for ourselves, and see if all of the fuss surrounding its cinematic debut was justified.
Starring Tye Sheridan in the leading role of Wade Watts, otherwise known as Parzival, Ready Player One takes the audience on an adventure into a dystopian future, where the majority of the public spend much of their time in a virtual world known as the OASIS. When the creator of that universe passes away however, his death sets off one of the biggest hunts in history, for a set of keys that will allow access to an "Easter Egg" (secret within the game). Whoever makes it to the Easter Egg first will not only get their hands on the fortune left by the simulation's creator, but overall control of the OASIS.
Sheridan is near-perfect in the role of Wade. Sure, he's a little more conventionally attractive than the character is perceived to be in the book, but this is Hollywood - that was always bound to happen. He delivers a stellar performance from start to finish, and is believable and relatable throughout. When he's in danger, we hold our breath alongside him, and when he's at his most powerful, we're rooting for him to succeed.
Olivia Cooke however is the real shining star. Tackling the character of Samantha, known in the OASIS as the famous Art3mis, she makes this movie her own from the moment she appears. It's clear to see exactly how she charms those around her, and whilst she has a birthmark on her face in the real world that brings her confidence down, it's something she quickly wears as a mark of pride.
What we really have to talk about when it comes to Ready Player One though, is the gorgeous visuals that are littered throughout various OASIS scenes. This is a beautiful world that, as we mentioned a little earlier, we never thought we'd see on screen. Spielberg has managed to not only capture the brilliance of the novel's scenery, but turn it into something much more than any of us could have imagined.
Not only this, but there are various nods to pop culture scattered across the movie. We see Batman climbing Everest; Overwatch character Tracer blinking her way through a portal; Freddy Krueger battling against demons and other OASIS players, and much more. There's something for everybody to pick up on, no matter the age of the audience member, which leaves the majority of viewers with a smile on their face.
There are plenty of plot changes in Ready Player One's movie release when compared to the book, but many of them feel vital to the story succeeding in this format. This is Willy Wonka for the modern world, and the magic of the OASIS, as well as its roster of colourful characters, ensure it's a major win.
Ready Player One is available now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download.