Ready Player One

REVIEW: Ready Player One (2018)

When James Halliday (Mark Rylance), the creator of a popular virtual reality called the OASIS dies, a virtual contest is created to compete for his fortune and for control of this virtual world.

Ready Player One is based on the book of the same name by Ernest Cline. I read the book back in 2016 when the hype for it was at its peak and to be honest, I didn’t really like the book. I thought the main character was creepy towards and obsessed about the main female character as well as being very arrogant and all around unlikable – and then there was this over reliance on pop culture references that ended up being more annoying than anything else. So to say I had low expectations for the film version is an understatement.

The film follows Wade Watts or, as he’s known in the OASIS, Parzival (Tye Sheridan) as he and his friends search through the OASIS for the clues to finding the keys that will lead to Halliday’s fortune. There’s car races and battles and so many pop culture references. Some references are very blatant while others are blink and you’ll miss it types where if you get it that’s cool but it if you don’t you’re not missing anything. Or at least, I feel that what the film was going for but as it relies so heavily on nostalgia and computer game and movie references, there’s a whole other level of enjoyment to potentially have with Ready Player One if you get all these references. Otherwise, when Wade is in the virtual world it does look great and there’s all these cool looking characters or items, but you don’t get any meaning from them – they’re just there.

Wade’s not as unlikable here compared to his book counterpart and that’s probably because while we do get voice over narration from him explaining what the OASIS is, you don’t spend all his time with his thoughts. There’s still a very rushed “romance” that’s terrible and Wade’s friends turn out to tick the ethically diverse box.

As well as Wade and his friends competing with other players to find the keys to OASIS’s future, there’s a big bad corporate businessman played by Ben Mendelsohn who wants to win the challenge in order for his company to take it over. It’s such a cliché and Mendelsohn is pretty great as the over the top businessman who’ll stop at nothing to stop those pesky kids, but it’s something we’ve all seen so many times before and they don’t do anything interesting with it.

In the virtual world, Ready Player One looks great and some of the battle sequences are engaging but on the whole the characters and story just seem flat. It’s also a pretty depressing future (it’s set in 2045) where people escape into the OASIS because everyone’s stopped trying to make the real world better. Ready Player One plays out like a video game and if you enjoy them and know a lot of the pop culture references, you’ll probably have more fun with this film than I did. 2/5.

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Most Unlikable Characters

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about unlikable characters, these aren’t the villains you’re supposed to hate, these are the protagonists or side-characters that for whatever reason you just can’t stand.

FullSizeRender (7)Vivi – When We Collided by Emery Lord
I was not a fan of Vivi. She is almost obnoxiously happy and though you do find out why she’s like that I never felt any real sympathy for her. She’s incredibly jealous and mean if her boyfriend does so much as talk to another girl, she is reckless and when people try and ask her why she’s doing stupid or crazy things, she just says they’re trying to control her. Vivi was probably the most unlikable character I’ve encountered in a while.

 

ready player oneWade/Parzival – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
There was something about Wade that put my back up. He’s often entitled or thinks he’s so great since he’s the first to make a break through looking for James Halliday’s Easter egg, he’s also kind of controlling which is never a good quality. I think the main reason I don’t like him is because of the way he thinks of and talks about Art3mis. It’s creepy and if I ever found out a guy was that obsessed with me I’d run away screaming.

the house of hidden mothers elenasquareeyesShyama – The House of Hidden Mothers by Meera Syal
The main reason Shyama is unlikable is because she’s pretty self-centred. All she wants is a baby and in doing so she ignores her teenage daughter. She just thinks her daughter is being moody for the sake of it but doesn’t realise something more serious might be going on because she’s not paying anyone any attention but herself. If a characters self-centred, I’m probably not going to like them.

 

Anna and the Ffrench Kiss ElenaSquareEyesÉtienne – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The main reason why I found Étienne so unlikable throughout most of the novel was because he didn’t communicate! He ends up stringing along not only his girlfriend but a friend he’s supposed to really like and care about. Plus, he’s one of those romantic leads that’s almost sickeningly perfect so that just makes him annoying.

asking for it louise oneilEmma O’Donovan – Asking For It by Louise O’Neill
This is an interesting one because Emma is a really unlikable person but there’s no way she deserves what happens to her. Emma is beautiful and she knows it so she uses it to her advantage, she’s mean and bitchy to her friends, she steals from them and she always thinks she’s better than them. She is the sort of person you wouldn’t want to be friends with in school.

What protagonists or secondary characters did you end up finding really unlikable when you probably weren’t supposed to?