I have wanted to talk about Ready Player One for a while, but I wanted the, for lack of a better word, “hype” to die down first so that there could be an attempt at a reasonable discussion. But there’s one more thing that I feel I should do before getting into the themes and problems with the film, and that’s to essentially deconstruct why it’s not actually all that special.
So there’s this movie, which is ostensibly about a corporation that is trying to take over a place in order to use it for commercial purposes. Doing so would disenfranchise a not insignificant portion of a marginalized population. But that is more or less background noise until the final fight– the main story is a mystery, where the main character searches for clues with the help of allies in order to solve it. Part of the gimmick of the film is the huge amount of references to classic media.
So there’s this movie, which is about a group of five kids that are promised a prize unlike any other. A mysterious man guides them through a place of wonder and horror and fantasy. Our main character is a boy who is rather unremarkable in most respects, but his intuition and understanding of what makes the place wonderful is why the mysterious man thinks he is worthy of receiving the ultimate prize. The film also condemns those who lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead in life.
So there’s this movie….