Ready Player One: Pop Culture References as Far as the Eye Can See.

4 stars
If you were to take a shot every time a pop culture reference appeared in Ready Player One, you would probably die of alcohol poisoning half way through the movie.
Directed by the great Stephen Spielberg, Ready Player One is pop culture reference, after pop culture reference.
Thankfully however, these constant references do not overshadow the movie itself they merely expand upon it.
The film is set in 2045 and there is nowhere left to escape to so everyone spends their time in a massive virtual world, known as The Oasis.
After the death of its creator James Halliday, it is announced he hid an Easter Egg in The Oasis and whoever finds it will become the sole owner of it.
Gamer Wade Watts, known as Parzival in the game (Tye Sheridan), is one of those who sets out to find this Easter Egg, along with his friend Aech (Lena Waithe), his crush Art3mis and others.

Wade WattsReady Player One is definitely a spectacle.
Every time the characters step into the Oasis there is something to grab your eye.
For every pop culture reference you do not understand there will be three that you do.
The Iron Giant, Terminator 2, Godzilla, even Chucky, these are some of the many references left for viewers to spot.
The action sequences that go along with this are also fantastic to watch, helped greatly by the movie’s use of effects.
The CGI in Ready Player One looks like a video game… however, unlike my Justice League review, this is not a criticism.
The Oasis is a video game so it makes sense that the effects look like this and it improves the film.

video game effects and constant pop culture references help set up the world of The Oasis.

But spectacle alone does not make a film.
The story and characters also have to be good and Ready Player One, for the most part, certainly delivers on this.
The story mixes well with the visuals and what the movie is trying to say and the characters are all likeable.
However, that being said they do not go through that much character growth.
This is especially apparent when Wade goes through a traumatic loss in one scene and seems to have completely forgotten about it in the very next scene.
Also, while I did believe the relationship between Wade and Art3mis, it did feel very rushed.

Wade and Art3mis
Although this relationship does feel real, it comes across as rushed.

Other than that though, the characters were all very well done and likeable, except of course for the ones you are supposed to hate, like Ben Mendelsohn’s Nolan.
Ready Player One really gives the viewer an appreciation for pop culture.
Above all that though, it is immersive, which given the movie’s setting of The Oasis, is exactly what was needed.

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