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Edward Kivlahan April 4, 2018

I very much enjoyed Ready Player One. Steven Spielberg consistently delivers impressive cinematic experiences and this is no exception. I rate Ready Player One 4 out of 5 stars. The plot was effective, the moral was intriguing, and there were many good elements.

The movie follows Wade Watts as he and the world attempt to find three keys that, once attained, grant the owner full reign over the entire virtual game world known as The Oasis. These three keys were left by the lead programmer and original owner of The Oasis, and he left at the end of this trail the symbol of this ownership in the form of an “easter egg,” a common item left in a game by developers as a nod or reference to other games or people or media. Through hard fought battle and deep research and insight, Wade becomes the first to find a key, and then the battle for The Oasis ignites into a war that will change the face of the world.

I rate the character development 4 out of 5. Wade began as a boy obsessed with the hunt for the egg and being disenfranchised with reality, but soon his view expanded. Artemis grew in her own right as she was challenged by Wade’s Parzival, and the members of High Five all learned from each other and became stronger people as they all progressed in the search for the egg. The lack of heavier moral choices and challenges to the world view from our protagonist is what costs this element a star.

I rate the plot 4 out of 5. The events that would spark discovery made sense and I could follow every step of the way while picking up on the foreshadowing, so the plot was effective and understandable. Each twist to a key’s discovery was intriguing and the way in which plot points were introduced was fairly smooth in its delivery. As it progressed though, the speed at which plot points occurred became faster and more convenient. The romance plotline was okay with obstacles and meaningful advancements, but the romantic challenges seemed rather too easy to overcome. The convenient elements of the plot cost the plot one star, but overall it was still good.

The CGI quality and cinematography belong together due to the high inclusion of both in relatively equal amounts throughout, and I rate them 5 out of 5. The scenery in the “real world” is impressive despite being somewhat limited. The movie doesn’t need vast expanses of highly detailed nature scenery in this setting due to its semi-post-apocalyptic world, and what is needed for the scenery outside of The Oasis is delivered well. The Oasis scenery is breathtaking and detailed, with busy scenes and simple scenes with vast multitudes of moving parts. The individual characters had an impressive amount of detail between smooth and textured elements and the animation was smooth throughout the entire thing. The consistency and quality is why I give the cinematography/CGI 5 out of 5 stars.

The soundtrack is comprised of many songs that are from the nineties and eighties, and I rate it 5 out of 5. The songs are diverse and contribute to setting a mood that blends futurism and what would then be vintage culture. All of the music composed for Ready Player One was effective for maintaining and building the mood of its particular scene, particularly dramatic emphasis. My favorite classic song on the soundtrack is Stayin’ Alive, as the jubilant energy of the song and the scene combine well to make it an appropriate inclusion.

I rate the book translation 3 out of 5 stars. The movie is great as a standalone experience, but it has very few things in common with the book. The challenges were different and Nolan Sorento’s avatar was actually a sixer avatar in the book. That said, the changes made between the book and the screen weren’t necessarily bad. The movie did improve the romance arc, but due to its deviations this section is rated 3 out of 5.

I rate the character development and plot 4 out of 5, the CGI quality 5 out of 5, and the book translation 3 out of 5. The movie quickly immersed me in its world and the lore that went into building it, and that immersion quickly helped me invest in the characters on screen. I also enjoyed how it raised questions about reality and what it means to be human. I rate Ready Player One Very Good: 4 out of 5 stars.