When I say the term 80's nostalgia vomit, that almost sounds like I'm using it in a negative connotation, but I'm really not. I'm using it more as a statement of fact in describing this phenomenon. We take everything we love about the 80's and dump it all into one movie or one TV show. For me this is more of a positive thing. The 80's are my favorite decade when it comes to entertainment, most of my favorite music, movies and TV shows are either from the 80's or formulated like the 80's. I can even claim that I was born in the 80's, even though it was on the latter end in 1989, meaning most of my childhood took place in the 90's, but I think most 90's kids like myself would agree that they equally love all of the 80's entertainment. It's practically the golden age of entertainment. The music there is by far the greatest of any generation. And thanks to Spielberg with "Jaws" and George Lucas with "Star Wars" kicking things off in the late 70's, the summer blockbuster was invented and by the time the 80's rolled around, the movie industry was completely transformed, taking everyone around on quite the joyride, a ride that we are still looking back on and doing our best to try to replicate or straight-up remake with modern cinema.
Yes, I love a great nostalgia trip, so when I saw the trailers for this movie, I jumped for joy as I was beyond excited. If you, for whatever reason, hate the 80's or aren't a fan of huge nostalgia dumps like "IT" or "Stranger Things," then this recommendation is simple. Don't see "Ready Player One." But if the idea of a movie starting out with "Jump" by Van Halen as it's theme song while our main character is racing around in the DeLorean from "Back to the Future" puts a smile on your face, then you need to run out to your local theater as soon as possible, find the biggest screen you can, grab a big bucket of popcorn, then sit back and enjoy because you're in for a real treat with "Ready Player One." Much like "Back to the Future Part II," "Ready Player One" is a movie that takes place about 30 years into the future from our present day, that of 2045. This seems like it could be a decent representation of the future with Virtual Reality, something that's on the rise on 2018, being the huge thing of this futuristic generation. Everyone has their VR headsets and they love jumping away from reality into the virtual world they call the Oasis, where you can be anyone you want and do anything you want with anyone you want.
The specific plot of our adventure involves a challenge presented by the creator of the Oasis, who has recently passed away. Upon his passing, it is revealed that he has hidden three keys somewhere in the Oasis and the person who finds the three keys first gets rewarded with the golden Easter egg, giving that person total control of the Oasis moving forward. So the movie follows our main group of players, led by Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke, as they make their way through this challenge. The further they get, the more opposition they receive from our big corporate bad guy, played by Ben Mendelsohn, who is bound and determined to have all the power for himself instead of having the power in the hands of a normal user. Thus him and his crew represent a company like EA, a company that most gamers absolutely hate with the tactics they use, yet they play the games anyways because there's not a lot they can do about it. Or another potential comparison is Disney, who pretty much owns everything in Hollywood at the moment. Or you can even bring politics into this and compare it to the government vs. the average person. Regardless of which way you choose to spin it, this is the big corporation vs. the seemingly insignificant individual.
First and foremost I want to give high praise to our cast of up and coming stars. Leading the way is Tye Sheridan, who absolutely owns this role as Wade Watts in the real world and as Parzival, which is his username in the Oasis. This is the kid from "Mud," a movie that hit the festival run in 2012 before being released to the general public in summer 2013. If you're like me and you saw that little indie film and loved it, one of your high praises was that this Tye Sheridan kid is going to be a star. And it's fun seeing him live out his potential as he got his first huge break as the new Scott Summers in "X-Men: Apocalypse" and now Spielberg picked him up for "Ready Player One," which I feel will boost his career even more. In the Oasis, his character of Parzival falls in love with this super hot avatar girl named Art3mis. People in the movie were warning him to be careful because she could be this old, fat guy living with his mom. But the whole time I was like, "Nah, he's good." Because eventually she was going to be revealed as Olivia Cooke, who I've also loved since 2013 as she starred in "Bates Motel," the "Psycho" prequel series that recently finished that I think is phenomenal. She was also in the 2015 film "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," which I also loved.
I hope this doesn't make me sound conceited. I mean, all y'all are learning of these two just now while I've known them for five years now. So take that! But hey, as I'll get to more here in a second, this movie has something in it for everyone. For me one of the fun things was seeing two young individuals who I've been cheering on for several years get their huge break in a big budget Spielberg film. I talked a lot about Sheridan, but when it comes to his better half, Olivia Cooke, what has impressed me so much about her in the smaller roles she's been in is that she feels so approachable. There's a lot of times where you'll see an actress in a movie or a TV show that you really love, but you think to yourself that even if you did see her in real life, you wouldn't even be worthy of speaking to her because she's so out of your league. That's not the case with Olivia Cooke and I mean that as a high compliment. I feel like if I ever ran into her on the street, I could sit down and have lunch with her and just talk about life. That I respect and thus it makes me happy seeing her get a huge role like this because she deserves. I do want to talk about the other three in this gang, but their human selves don't get revealed until much later, so I'm going to forgo that.
As far as this adventure that they go on, if I had one major problem with the it, it's that I have a hard time believing that this group of kids and young adults would be the first to ever solve this puzzle. I'm not a gamer myself, but I know a lot of gamers and they all seem really good at discovering all the secrets to these games they play. So I feel if the creator of the Oasis really did introduce the challenge after he died, it would be solved by someone within a week or two, if not earlier. But that's whatever. We kind of have to accept the fact that they get super lucky and now have to move forward while fighting the evil corporation. There's so much in this adventure that I want to dive into, but for the most part the advertising did a great job of leaving the specifics of this movie a secret as far as all the Easter eggs hidden in there. I mean, we knew about the Iron Giant and the DeLorean, as well as several other things from the trailer, but there's a lot more that gets thrown out you that are completely surprises and it was a huge delight. I'm sure there was a ton that I missed, but there were a lot of moments where I felt like Captain America in "The Avengers" with his "I understood that reference!" moment. Those instances made me happy and caused me to really enjoy the ensuing scenes.
I think the best thing about this movie is that, unless you've been living under a rock for the last 30 years, there's a moment for everyone. There will be a song that is played, a character that shows up, a reference that is made or a land that they enter where you will recognize it and cry out with much delight. I've been using the phrase 80's nostalgia vomit when it comes to "Ready Player One," because that's the huge spotlight. But in reality I should remove the 80's because Spielberg obviously had a ton of fun playing with all of his old toys from every decade, as well as other peoples' toys as there's stuff from the 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's and the current decade. The only thing that's missing is Disney and Nintendo property, but that's probably because those companies are very stickler with their property. Everything else is here and it's a blast. Given that there's three keys to find, this movie is essentially split up into three sections and without given any spoilers, I'll just say the second section of the movie was the one for me. I also had a ton of fun with the finale where they throw everything at you at once and the first section was fine. I wish I could talk more, but that's all I'm saying for now. As a whole, this movie was an absolute blast and I'm giving it a 9/10.