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Ready Player One
挑战者1号

Opening Date
29 Mar 2018
Rating
PG13 Some Violence and Coarse Language
些许暴力画面及粗俗语言
Runtime
140 mins
Language
English with Chinese subtitles
Genre
Action, Adventure
Director
Steven Spielberg
Cast
Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance
Synopsis
From filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes the action adventure “Ready Player One,” based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon.
In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place.  The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spends their days.  In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone—the only limits are your own imagination.  The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the Oasis to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir.  When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends—called the High Five—are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS and their world.
Reviews
By Thompson Wong  09 Apr 2018
That said, Ready Player One ultimately ticks the largest and possibly most important box of all - appealing to the geeks and pop culture fans who love their comic books, video games, and old school movies.
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To the moviegoer who chooses to watch Ready Player One without any inkling of its plot, prepare to be tickled at the surprising number of pop culture references. These seem to pour out in such quantity that even blinking is discouraged for fear of missing the opportunity to catch one more sly reference.

The plot is fairly straightforward and set in a futuristic era where citizens plug into an immersive VR universe named the OASIS, created by eccentric recluse James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his fortune and control of OASIS to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a suitable heir.  Enter Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), who conquers the first challenge and sets in motion a series of dangerous events led by Watts' crush Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) and billionaire baddie Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), who seeks control of OASIS for his own corporate gain.

Ready Player One is a film adaptation of Ernest Cline's bestseller and is directed by Steven Spielberg. The choice of director is telling: Spielberg had a nigh-impossible task of making already popular things seem more popular, which made him one of the best-suited men for the job. His stellar credentials left critics to focus on the product. That is to say, Spielberg had to direct a film attracting the people who like pop culture, while also attracting the people who may not (i.e. most of the world). It's a tough sell, and despite the glowing reviews Ready Player One has received, I'm advancing an unpopular opinion that the film does fail to clear this particular bar of true mass appeal.

We've talked a lot about references, and I haven't named any, but that's because it's more worthwhile for audiences to glimpse these for themselves. Despite Ready Player One's inability to truly connect - there still are several scenes that sear themselves in the mind. One occurs fairly early on during a race in the first challenge; another in the final challenge when the lead characters begin deploying ultra-sized characters in battle ala Power Rangers style.

A Goodreads review sums Ready Player One well: "This book is nostalgia porn, so the basic premise may rub others the wrong way like it did me. The idea that the kids of the 2040s are just watching episodes of ‘80s TV shows and playing Donkey Kong really kind of depressed me." If you're someone who enjoys these references, then the movie might be right for you. But do also note that Ready Player One spends a large amount of time expositing in order to ensure viewers understand everything, which may be a put-off on its own.

That said, Ready Player One ultimately ticks the largest and possibly most important box of all - appealing to the geeks and pop culture fans who love their comic books, video games, and old school movies. For the rest of the mainstream, the result may be more of a mixed bag. Two final disclaimers: I read the book before the film; whilst being a millennial, I am not from the 80s and therefore have no special fondness for references to this era.
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