READY PLAYER ONE
The movie “Ready Player One” is an over-the-top action adventure in a futuristic venue in which everyone is obsessed with virtual reality computer games. Although the world has become predictably overcrowded with universally squalid living conditions, nevertheless everyone can seek escape by reinventing themselves online. Society seems somehow able to provide everyone with food, clothing, and shelter without noticable effort. As a consequence, meaning in life and social standing is only achieved by one’s performance in macho adolescent action games at which, of course, only the young are truly adept. Indeed, the only prominent adult characters are a few corporate bad guys trying to take control of everything.
The story line is entirely one dimensional in which an exceptionally mild-mannered and somewhat distracted game inventor dies and leaves his entire fortune and control of the virtual multi-verse to whoever can follow his breadcrumb trail of clues to solve the ultimate puzzle. Fortunately, a small group of young innocents and adolescents with exceptional talent for the game bond together and are finally able to foil all evil ambitions.
But as a substitute for serious or intelligent drama, the action is wide-screen and non-stop and breathtaking. Computer animation blends seamlessly with real people with casts of hundreds and amazing vistas in an unbridled smash and crash and smash-some-more extravaganza. On the other hand, the plot, if naively shallow, is at least clear and reasonably developed.
Unfortunately, the many characters are not well drawn and affiliations and motivations are occasionally murky. But for all that the story is good natured fun and no one really gets hurt. And there are countless inside jokes for those at all familiar with the current gaming culture.
All in all, this is a movie catering to the young at heart and especially those addicted to computer games. In a final sop to parents and real world responsibility, the young conquering hero finally limits the world to only five full days of gaming a week and orders two days of rest “because the virtual game isn’t everything.” Right… If you are not turned off by this sorry rationalization for the tuned-out, I can with some hesitation recommend this well crafted example of the genre.