Ready Player One is a 2018 American science fiction adventure film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, and written by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on Cline's 2011 novel of the same name. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance. It was produced by Amblin Entertainment, Village Roadshow Pictures, De Line Pictures and Access Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film premiered at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas on March 11, 2018, and was theatrically released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States on March 29, 2018, in Dolby Cinema, RealD 3D, IMAX, 4DX, and IMAX 3D. A sequel, based on the book, is in development.
In 2045 the planet is on the brink of chaos and collapse, but people find salvation in the OASIS: an expansive virtual reality universe created by eccentric James Halliday. When Halliday dies, he promises his immense fortune to the first person to discover a digital Easter egg that's hidden somewhere in the OASIS. When young Wade Watts joins the contest, he finds himself becoming an unlikely hero in a reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical world of mystery, discovery and danger.
Why It Needs To Get Three Keys From Clues
- Its really faithful to the novel and source material of the novel, while managing to include a lot of differences (such as Daito not dying, I-R0k, who is a very minor character in the book, turned major role, and Art3mis being arrested by IOI instead of Parzival.)
- It included songs from the 1970s and the 1980s for the soundtrack as well as trailers, which is very nostalgic (for example: "Take on Me! by A-ha!, "Pure Imagination" by Bryan Nguyen (original performance by Gene Wilder for Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory), "Jump" by Van Halen (who also included from trailers) and "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" by The Temptations).
- The acting was great. Example: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance.
- Very likable and well-written characters.
- Wade Watts is a teenager, who goes by the online identity Parzival, and he is obsessed with Halliday. He lives in the "Stacks" with an abusive aunt and her arguably more abusive boyfriend.
- Samantha goes by her online identity of Art3mis and acts as a celebrity to Parzival in the beginning, and after Uncle Rick and Aunt Alice's deaths, acts as Parzival's love interest.
- Helen is online by her identity Aech, a male non-black character, but in real life is a black, female woman.
- Toshiro is a Japanese-American character, who goes by his online alias Daito, who acts as a brother figure to Sho.
- Sho is an 11-year-old Chinese-American boy who acts as comic relief, giving lines such as "What? Do I have to wear a sign saying "I am 11 years old, shoot me first?" No thanks.".
- The setting was handled very well, especially when the movie took place in the year, 2045.
- The idea of a virtual world in 2045 is really amazing.
- Very creative and well-done visuals.
- Art3mis and Parzival's dance scene to the song Stayin' Alive at the Distracted Globe was amazing and its not forced and clichéd. This movie did really well.
- The references to other video games and even The Shining are reasonable, and are used very well like any other movie. This is the reason why they pays homage to popular culture from various time periods, mainly the 1970s and 1980s but also extending to the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s; reviewers have identified over a hundred references to films, television shows, music, toys, video games, anime, and comics from these eras.
- The action was epic and brilliant.
- The story makes a lot of sense like in the novel.
- Amazing music score by Alan Silvestri.
- The realism is all the time epic, from the action-packed cinematography to the somewhat political undertones.
- It has a lot of cameos like the Iron Giant, Gundam, and Mechagodzilla.
- It is a lot more imaginative and free-spirited than other Steven Spielberg films.
- It is one of the rare movies to use pop culture references right like Wonder.
- "It's fucking Chucky!"
- Nolan Sorrento is an excellent villain, who has the objective to find Halliday's Easter Egg by any means necessary so that he may take over and monetize the OASIS, and Ben Mendelsohn's portrayal of him is great. His avatar identity almost looks like Superman, but actually evil.
- In addition, i-R0k (T.J. Miller's character) and F'nale Zandor (Hannah John-Kamen's character) are great secondary villain.
- It had an important message on how we should spend more time in the real world.
- They got Ernest Cline, the writer of the book as a writer.
- The movie (while not completely a comedy), manages to sneak in funny moments, such as in the final scene, everyone opening the doors at awkward times, Daito stopping Sho from watching Wade and Samantha's kiss, and the aftromentioned line "What? Do I have to wear a sign saying "I am 11 years old, shoot me first?" No thanks.", among others like "Yeah yeah yeah I'm 11 so what".
- Excellent directing of Steven Spielberg, like other movies.
- The brisk pacing is excellent and well executive.
- The scenes with the three clue challenges are really awesome.
- The Iron Giant were misused in a cameo to the point where he is used as a giant mecha that fights, instead of a gentle peaceful robot. Though it makes sense a little bit because the Iron Giant reacts defensively whenever someone points a gun at him. (There is an explanation for this. The Iron Giant was used after the company could not get the rights for Ultraman.)
- Speaking of said cameo, these cameo appearances have been widely criticising, like the Turtles from the infamous reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, despite being already killed reboot live-action series.
- Some confusing plot-holes; like if Ogden Morrow is the Curator, how does he take people from different timezones?
- Some errors like Parzival doesn't count to three before throwing the Holy Hand Grenade at the final clue.
- Aunt Alice and Uncle Rick are another generic "abusive parents" characters (although Aunt Alice isn't as cruel and selfish to Wade as she gives him a warning that if Wade were to use her stuff again, he is out of the house) as well, with the subplot can get a little too real and harsh at times.
Critical and audience response
Ready Player One was met with positive reviews and critical acclaim, with praising its visuals, brisk pacing, the performance of Sheridan and Rylance performance and the many cultural references from various media, although the perceived lack of character development and so-called "achingly regressive" view of pop culture fans was criticized. The film was noted to have significant differences from the book, with some critics calling the film's plot an improvement over the source material. It was also considered to be one of the best movies of 2018. On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 72% based on 442 reviews, with an average rating of 6.80/10. The audience approval rating is at 77%, with an average rating of 3.9/5 from over 25,000 ratings. The website's critical consensus reads, "Ready Player One is a sweetly nostalgic thrill ride that neatly encapsulates Spielberg's strengths while adding another solidly engrossing adventure to his filmography.". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, based on 55 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The average user score is 7.3/10 from over 1152 ratings. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, and those at PostTrak gave the film an 82% overall positive score and a 65% "definite recommend".
Angry Joe gave this movie a rating of 9/10.
Ready Player One grossed $137.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $445.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $582.9 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Tyler Perry's Acrimony and God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness and was projected to gross gross $40–50 million from 4,100 theaters over its first four days. It made $12.1 million on its first day, including $3.75 million from Wednesday night previews. It ended up grossing $41.8 million in its opening weekend (for a four-day total of $53.7 million).
Cline is working on a sequel to the novel. For a sequel to the film, he stated, "I think there's a good chance that, if this one does well, Warner Bros. will want to make a sequel. I don't know if Steven [Spielberg] would want to dive back in, because he would know what he is getting into. He's said that it's the third-hardest film he's made, out of dozens and dozens of movies". Co-star Olivia Cooke, and presumably the rest of the cast, is "contracted to sequels". Cline wrote a book sequel, titled Ready Player Two, which was released on November 24, 2020, stating in the acknowledgments that he had consulted Spielberg on the final draft of the book and where to take an adaptation. On December 22, 2020, Cline announced that a sequel was in the early stages of development, despite the reviews.
A sequel to the original book by Cline, titled Ready Player Two was released on November 24, 2020, although to less favorable reviews compared to its predecessor.
- Unlike other Warner Bros. movies on home media which shows a still image of the poster, this movie uses the clips footage from the movie for DVD main menu.
- Ready Player One was originally going to be released on December 15th, 2017, but was pushed back to March 28th, 2018 to avoid competition with mh:awfulmovies:Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The film was pushed back again, but this time, set to be released on March 29th, 2018.
- In October 2019, Doctor Sleep director Mike Flanagan revealed that Jack Nicholson, who portrayed Jack Torrance in The Shining, was approached to appear in the film, but declined the offer due to his retirement.
- Despite the movie being released in 2018, the movie was produced in 2017.
- The film includes licensed music from the 1970s and 1980s, which appears on the digital-only album Ready Player One: Songs From The Motion Picture.
- In the original novel, the Iron Giant's role was actually given to the popular Japanese tokusatsu hero Ultraman. Ultraman was excluded from the film version because Tsuburaya Productions, the creators of the Ultra series, were in a legal dispute with another company over the foreign distribution rights. Tsuburaya later said that if the dispute was not going on, Ultraman would have been included.
- Like Duel, Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Color Purple, and Bridge of Spies, this film makes the fifth time not to composed by John Williams, this time of Alan Silvestri.
- Ernest Cline's birthday is March 29, the same date the film Ready Player One was released in the United States.
- The Zemeckis Cube is named after director Robert Zemeckis. When the cube is activated, the music playing is from the Back to the Future (1985) trilogy, directed by Zemeckis. Alan Silvestri composed the score for both the Back to the Future trilogy and this film.
- The music score was originally going to be composed by longtime Steven Spielberg collaborator John Williams. However, due to scheduling conflicts working on another Spielberg film, The Post (2017), he left and Alan Silvestri took over. This was only the third film where Spielberg did not collaborate with Williams.
- The 1982 sci-fi action movie, Blade Runner, was integral to plot of the book as it served as part of the second challenge. The scene was going to be included in the movie but was forced to be cut out due Denis Villeneuve's neo-noir science-fiction movie, Blade Runner 2049, being in production at the same time. The studio and producers at Alcon Entertainment, feared that this could damage 2049's commercial prospects although 2049 was released back in October 2017. As the replacement, the creative team had the players play through the events of The Shining, which Spielberg was able to secure the rights to as an homage to his friend Stanley Kubrick. Penn and Cline also thought that the film could be the opportunity to replace such a lengthy sequence with a more action-heavy one. Once they decided to use The Shining, they were doubtful at first that Spielberg would accept the change, but Spielberg did go for it.
- British synthwave band Gunship wrote an amazing tie-in song based on the book and movie called Art3mis & Parzival.