A story by nerds for nerds? Maybe. But anyone who gets involved can have fun with “Ready Player One”.
Ready Player One
Science fiction 07/18/2021• 8:15 pm
Ten years ago the science fiction novel “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline was published in the USA, a story written by a nerd about nerds for nerds. At the same time, as a child of the 80s, Cline also paid homage to the decade of his youth. A film adaptation of the bestseller was actually only a matter of form; the sci-fi novel read almost like a script anyway. The fact that none other than Steven Spielberg could be won over for the adaptation – a man who decisively enriched the 80s with films like “ET” and “Indiana Jones” – is like a stroke of genius.
Not just because Ernest Cline is obviously a huge fan of the director, as anyone who’s read the book could tell. Spielberg manages to distance himself from the novel and to do what he can like no other: to create good entertainment for the masses. In the best sense! ProSieben is now repeating the science fiction film “Ready Player One” (2018) at prime time.
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The year is 2045: The earth is at the end. Climate change, energy crises and overpopulation make life difficult for people. Even for Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) from Columbus, Ohio, being in the real world is hard to bear. The orphan lives with his aunt in the so-called stacks. These are slums in which caravans are no longer just next to each other, but are piled on top of each other on wobbly frames in order to save space. No wonder that Wade, like many others, prefers to take refuge in the OASIS with the help of VR glasses, a virtual universe in which you can be who you want. As a Parzival, based on the knight of the round table, Wade experiences the greatest adventures in the OASIS.
But when the founder of the virtual world, James Halliday (Mark Rylance), dies and leaves a cryptic will, everything changes. Halliday has hidden an Easter egg in his creation. Whoever finds it inherits its gigantic fortune and receives total control over the OASIS. To get your hands on the “treasure” you need three keys. Millions of people search for them for years – to no avail.
One day, of all people, Wade succeeds in finding the key. However, the boy did not expect that he would come into the focus of the large corporation IOI. Its boss Nolan Sorrento (funny and evil at the same time: “Rogue One” villain Ben Mendelsohn) is also after the Easter egg. For Wade, the treasure hunt becomes a life-and-death struggle. Only with the help of a few fellow players like the mysterious Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) does he have a chance to survive the whole thing alive.
As soon as the film begins, Van Halen’s “Jump” pounds the audience. Even if some of the nostalgic 80s entertainment have recently grown tired of – Spielberg manages to charmingly incorporate the whole thing into the film. In addition, the director is not too strict, and so dinosaurs from “Jurassic Park” (1993) are allowed to sweep the streets and the Bee Gees are allowed to fill the OASIS with “Stayin Alive” (1977). Fans of the book should still be surprised because, among other things, the way to the first key in the film has been completely changed. But that’s a good thing.
A couple of ultra-nerdy references – Parzival plays his way through the arcade game “Joust” in the book – have been replaced in the film by easily understandable pop cultural allusions. That makes “Ready Player One” accessible to the masses. Only the socially critical approach of the original has suffered a bit. Instead of depth, there is a lot more action. The scavenger hunt for the Easter egg is exciting and the merging of the real and virtual world is absolutely successful. Accompanied by Blondie, George Michael and a-ha, Steven Spielberg created a loving and absolutely visually stunning homage to nerdism. Popcorn cinema at its best. Good game, well played.
Ready Player One – Sun. 18.07. – ProSieben: 8.15 p.m.
Source: teleschau – the mediendienst GmbH