Ready Player One, a movie hyped for it's severe abundance of pop culture easter eggs and championed for it's fictional OASIS machine, a VR on steroids experience that most of us would like to jump into.
However, the realism of the movie overall along with it's overreliance on the easter egg selling point undermines the core messages and plot it is trying to portray. The setting is too fantastical for me to put real stakes and tension into. A real world disinterested in it's own downfall due to some videogame would never occur in real life. While it makes for an interesting scenario for a book, the movie barely explains why people other then corporate magnates haven't tried to stop the world's decline.
The movie begins with a retelling of a life story from Wade Watts, an average boy living in the Stacks of Columbus, Ohio. Quite honestly it was sort of jarring to see a setting in which an American metropolis was turned into some Chinese congested city overflowing with population, but hey, it's a fictional movie.
Wade speaks about the corporate giant IOI, Innovative Online Industries, a megacorporation that has monetised many aspects of the OASIS, and seek to win an easter egg hunt challenge to control the rest of the game and monetise the greatest economic resource on Earth. Typical evil bad guy machinations.
Meanwhile, our hero is trying to win the egg hunt for whatever reason, and explaining the rest of the story is a chore. He meets a girl, finds his OASIS friends in real life, all the fun stuff.
Point I'm trying to make is, the story didn't need to have much flair, character development, or pizzazz for a movie about fictional characters murdering each other. But it takes that advice to the extreme. The bad guy, Nolan Sorrento, IOI's CEO, just wants money for whatever reason, and an opportunity was wasted by making the Sixers design as intimidating as France's military.
The movie's real world setting, as I said before, is unrealistic, and IOI manages to have it's own private military, somehow. Never explained how a corporation can have access to SWAT Teams and killer assassins. That'd be like McDonalds having an army of Ronald McDonald clown mask wearing goons out blowing up Burger Kings.
One of the movie's strengths undoubtedly however, is the final battle. Especially when Mechagodzilla came on stage. I know, overreliance on overabudance, but asking someone to not nerd out during that sequence was like asking a America not to ransack a third world nation for oil depots.
All in all, an average action movie that uses modern day and 80s pop culture references as its strong suit, and therefore neglects a meaningful story with stakes. Nice CGI though. 7/10.