‘Ready Player One’: an Oasis of nostalgia


Logan Ansteatt

There’s something both magical and cringe worthy about seeing The Iron Giant and a Gundam battle Mechagodzilla. It’s outrageous and nonsensical, but also just beautiful enough to illicit nostalgia that helps you overcome the uncomfortableness of those pop culture universes clashing on screen.

This is Ready Player One in its purest form, a film with pop culture references out the wazoo blended just cohesively enough to overcome the moments of pure, unadulterated awkwardness presented from a piece of entertainment that sometimes tries too hard to entertain.

Image result for ready player one gundam gif


Ready Player One was directed by Steven Spielberg but felt like it was written by your 8-year-old cousin Billy, who dumped all of his toys onto the floor and started throwing them at each other. Then some idiot from a movie studio saw Billy and said; “Weave a cheap and awkward love story into this plot and you’ve got a blockbuster, my boy!”

It’s not that Ready Player One takes itself too seriously, but much like in the dystopian future in the film, I was much happier to stay in the the Oasis than deal with the real life problems presented from the live-action dialogue.

If you’ve seen any of the trailers for the film, you basically can interpret the entire plot. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) and his Oasis avatar Parzival start winning a competition that will decide the ownership of the Oasis, a massive economic resource. Naturally, a businessman and his mega-corporation want control of this revenue opportunity and will kill, in the real world, in order to take control of it.

Image result for ready player one gundam gif

This isn’t a film for those looking for a deeper subplot or commentary on our connection with technology. In Ready Player One, humans have solved the problem of their lives being garbage by just living in said garbage and playing a video game most of the day to forget about their impoverished and disadvantaged state. Other than a few quips by a couple of characters, no one truly dives into anything beyond recognizing that the world is trash before moving onto bigger issues inside the virtual world. 

But none of that mattered once I allowed myself to just have fun watching the movie. There is action and cleverness with the source material abound, more than enough to settle into fully realized suspension of disbelief around what is happening on-screen.

Ready Player One made me gleam with joy and grimace over awkward dialogue more than any film I’ve seen in recent memory. But the sometimes painful dialogue is overshadowed by those spectacular sequences of nostalgia and badassery presented at regular intervals.