Ready Player One Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

The Earth by 2045 came to a very neglected state. The majority of the population is practically impoverished and lives in all sorts of slums. But people don’t protest: they have VR goggles, they have a 3D face scanner, they have omnidirectional treadmills with a quad sensor at the base, but most importantly, they have OASIS! This is a very complex, branched, diverse and extremely exciting computer game, which was invented and implemented by the complete geek James Holiday (Mark Rylance). Holiday is dead, but his work lives on – almost the entire population of the Earth plays in OASIS.

Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is a kid who lives in his sister’s apartment in a slum called Stacks in Columbus, Ohio. Wade’s real world is dirty and miserable, so OASIS for him is a means to escape into a completely different life, where he can be who he wants, look like he wants and do what he wants. Well, and, accordingly, it is in this world that Wade makes friends for himself: the good-natured giant H, the fighting Deito and the most dangerous kid in the world – Sho.

In OASIS, you can earn not only virtual coins. Before his death, Holiday introduced an “Easter egg” into the game. Whoever finds it will get full control of the game and half a trillion dollars in pocket money. But “Easter eggs” cannot be found just like that. First you need to find three keys that will open three gates, and only after that it will be possible to find this egg.

And the keys don’t lie anywhere. They are closely tied to Holiday’s personality, so clues can only be found if you can connect important events in James’ life to what they might mean in the game.

It’s not just regular players who hunt for the Easter egg. Holiday’s former henchman Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), who under James was responsible for serving coffee, is now the head of the villainous corporation IOI. Sorrento has huge resources and wants to get all the power over OASIS in order to stuff it with advertising and start squeezing real money out of players for all sorts of virtual goodies. So Watts and his friends are in terrible danger!


A sensational movie. It sounded like it was a children’s story. A virtual game, a “simple” boy is looking for an “Easter egg”, the main villain is a villain, friends help, virtual worlds replace one another. Some regular “Speed ​​racer”, I thought, and decided not to watch this case.

No, I’m very fond of old Spielberg, but all his “Tintins”, “Great and kind giants” – well, Spielberg was carried away into children’s fairy tales, I thought. I have nothing against it, but I’m still at a different age. In addition, I have already watched a completely epic movie about how people were placed in virtual reality and lived there, confusing virtual and real.

But with the “First player” everything turned out to be much more interesting than with the giants. A very high rating on IMDB, good box office (CCU 3.3), a lot of positive reviews (however, I basically don’t read reviews before watching). Give, I think, I will look – well and suddenly.

Looked. I liked it very much. No, the plot is just an ordinary children’s fairy tale: a simple geek glavger, his faithful friends, the insidious Villain Zlodeich with his minions-sixes, terribly positive heroes for everything good and terribly negative scoundrels for everything bad. Plus an epic battle at the end, the kid will succeed, love will conquer all, and OASIS will be taken over not by a bad capitalist bastard, but by a good capitalist kid, amen. But, by the way, the script just clearly corresponded to the task set – this is such a completely straightforward, exclusively black-and-white (in terms of the characters outlined) fairy tale for geeks aged from ten to one hundred years.

After all, the main thing in the film is the adventures of the characters in the virtual world of OASIS (they are shown live for about twenty minutes in the entire 140 minutes of the film), and there are so many things in this world that it is this that delights even fifty-year-old geeks like me.

What’s so exciting about it? Well, firstly, a huge number of references to about three dozen of the most diverse computer games – Worms, Quake, Minecraft, Duke Nukem, Tomb Raider and others. Also, the film “The Shining” was inserted into the picture in a very interesting way – one of the keys must be found in the virtual incarnation of this film. Secondly, humor. Some characters are very hilarious, such as, for example, the terribly scary-looking I-R0k (in the United Statesn version, I’m Cool), who complains about problems with his neck and, in general, lights up just fine.

Thirdly, it is very cool and fascinatingly drawn: some game worlds replace others, races are replaced by massive battles – in general, Bagel and I never got bored.

Yes, human actors in the real world looked somehow without a twinkle. Spielberg was going to take the role of teenagers in general to take unknown actors and even held mass castings, but in the end, Ty Sheridan, who starred in ten films, including “X-Men: Apocalypse”, “Mud” and “Joe” (for role in this film, he received the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the Venice Film Festival), and for the role of Samantha – Olivia Cooke, who also starred in a dozen films and TV series.

I didn’t like Sheridan here – he’s kind of gray. Olivia Cooke is more fun, but nothing special. But I really liked Ben Mendelsohn in the role of the villain Sorrento: he was so charismatic and convincing that I really wanted him to take control of this messy OASIS and put things in order there with an iron fist, pumping out money to build a Bright Future on Earth, which he would build he never became in his life, because he is only concerned about his own bright future, – that’s such a purposeful person he is.

Well, Mark Rylance was very good as the complete geek James Holiday, the creator of OASIS, who wants to transfer control of the game to the same fucking geek as he was – which is why only someone who knows the life of Holiday can find the keys and the “easter egg” thoroughly.

This film was staged based on the famous novel of the same name by Ernest Kline, however, those who read the book, as far as I read the reviews, are dissatisfied with the film adaptation: as a rule, they all write that Spielberg greatly distorted the book and that it generally cannot be considered a film adaptation.

I can’t comment on this, I haven’t read the book. And the film is very funny and spectacular, nostalgic and relevant at the same time, because it is quite clear that this is the future we are heading towards.

Formally, it may seem that Spielberg somehow condemns Sorrento, which clearly shows the collective image of the current game bosses, but do not be fooled! Sweet boy Watts will soon become the same Sorrento, when he understands how players can be cut live money. No wonder he began to turn off OASIS on Tuesdays and Thursdays, hypocritically claiming that this is done only so that the players spend more time in real life. Well, he has it in real life – half a trillion dollars in accounts and a beautiful brunette in her girlfriends, he has something to do. And what, answer me, to do in real life as miserable as he himself was quite recently, who have neither a trillion nor a girlfriend?! That’s it! Here it is, the most important reptile of the film! What is Sorrento? Sorrento is just a weapon!

What is the result? I think this picture is worth seeing. For the sake of a chic exuberant visual, for the sake of nostalgic references, for the sake of well-chosen music from the times of those games to which these references lead. Bagel and I definitely approve. This is not a “Speed ​​Racer” for you, OASIS is in his drawbar!


Ready Player One movie meaning

Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Simon Pegg, TJ Miller, Mark Rylance, Ben Mendelsohn, Hannah John-Kamen, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Lena Waithe, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki

Budget: $175M, Global gross: $583M
Fiction, USA-India, 2018, 140 min.

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