Jason Voorhees, Chucky, King Kong, Mechagodzilla and Christine in the same movie?
Review of “Ready Player One” by The Headless Critic
Ready Player One – 2018
Production by: Amblin Entertainment, Warner Bros., Village Roadshow, Reliance Entertainment, Farah Film & Management, De Line Pictures
Distribution by: Warner Bros.
Jason Voorhees and Chucky in the same movie??? King Kong, Mechagodzilla and Christine, oh my? The iconic characters of horror come out for Steven Spielberg latest film, Ready Player One.
The future is here. The brilliant but different, James Halliday (Mark Ryalance) and his partner Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg) created a virtual reality world known as OASIS some twenty years ago. By the year 2045 OASIS has become the primary existence for the majority of the world’s population. Those who seek to escape their real lives are only limited by their imaginations as to who they can be within OASIS. Life inside has become so routine, virtual coin is interchangeable with real world money.
Before his death five years ago, OASIS creator and the richest man in the world James Halliday hid three keys or Easter Eggs in his vast universe, creating a three-part contest to unlock them. If anyone ever completes these contests Halliday’s controlling shares of OASIS will become theirs, giving them complete control and enormous wealth. Five years later no one has even completed the first task, leaving the control of OASIS to its board of directors. People and corporations have formed groups to try and beat the first task and find the first key. One day, a nobody out of nowhere does the unthinkable. Known online as Parzival, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) unlocks the first key opening up a world of trouble. With no corporation of group behind him the online moniker of Parzival becomes an immediate celebrity overnight. Meanwhile the real life teenage boy behind the VR is targeted. Wade forms his “High Five” group of online friends and the race is on to unlock the final two keys before the corporation takes them all out to retain control.
In his latest big budget, box office release, Steven Spielberg halfway returns to animation while fully returning to perhaps what he consistently does best, family friendly, action adventure. This modern day adaptation of “The Wizard” goes virtual as teenage wiz Wade Watts wears a cod piece over a Power Glove. Fanboy Ernest Cline’s unrealistic vision of the near future throws 1980’s vomit on the screen from the year 2045. The world still changes a lot more in the next thirty years than it did in the last.
Spielberg via Cline’s writing and a lot of animation brings the 1980's back to life in virtual form. In a time when reminiscing about your childhood has brought back everything from your favorite tv shows to Crystal Pepsi for someone to make a buck off of, the world moves on while looking back and Steven Spielberg brings a movie to the big screen about it. Like the latest Avengers movie which tries to fit so many superheroes on screen they each only get a few minutes of dialogue, Ready Player One throws such much 80’s at you that you’re guaranteed to miss some. From my understanding there’s a lot of hidden “Easter eggs” to find this Easter weekend within Ready Player One. Though The Avengers may be more visuals than characters or storytelling it doesn’t mean those movies don’t entertain. Ready Player One is a lot of CGI to take in but it’s done well and is still fun.
Chock full of fun characters and not just the ones created four decades ago, the online High Five team Parzival, Art3mis, Aech, Daito and Sho and their nemesis’s Sorrento and I-R0k keep Steven Spielberg’s version of an Avatar world entertaining. Their real life counterparts played by Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cook, Lena Waithe, Win Morisaki, Philip Zhao and Ben Mendelsohn briefly recapture the old Steven Spielberg family movie magic we felt in E.T. and Indiana Jones. The most magical character, perhaps as it should be, is OASIS creator James Halliday played by Mark Ryalance. The offbeat nerdom and genius behind the kind eyes is perfectly captured, creating the same lure for the audience that the people who live in the OASIS feel towards the man. That character could have came straight from the world of Harry Potter and I don't just mean in avatar form.
This wouldn’t be a horror review if I didn’t mention further about the horror icons that make online cameos. Jason Voorhees is briefly glimpsed in online battle. Chucky is used as a ticking time bomb in slasher form. King Kong and what is possibly the T-Rex from Jurassic Park are game changers. A 1958 Plymouth Fury that looks very similar to Christine makes a backdrop appearance. The biggest role I caught of all was Mechagodzilla who’s in the final battle against the Iron Giant. These are just a few that I caught. I’m sure there’s more horror in this family film for fans to find. It’s a lot to take, so this may be one you have to see multiple times to fully appreciate.
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4 out of 5 Headless Critics