‘Ready Player One’: pinnacle of ’80s nostalgia

Maya Dennis, A&E critic

Last week, Steven Spielberg’s most recent film, “Ready Player One” finally hit theatres. With much anticipation from audiences everywhere, it only makes sense that the film would end up being No.1 in the U.S.

The film — which is based on the book by Ernest Cline — focuses on 18-year-old Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan). He finds himself among the “Missing Millions,” a generation of people sucked into a VR world known as The OASIS. The film follows his journey to find the Easter Egg and accidentally save the OASIS from the IOI, a group of misguided entrepreneurs.

While some book fans may complain that the film doesn’t really resemble the novel, they have to admit the film is just as good if not better than the book.

One of Spielberg’s many talents is being able to take a bleak novel and turn it into something more. He’s turned several novels into films that have become classics such as “Jaws” — his first blockbuster — and  “Jurassic Park,” which set the bar for future CGI work. It’s safe to say the man knows what he’s doing whether you approve or not.

One of the biggest concerns with the film was that the virtual reality parts would look unrealistic and video game-esk. However, once you’re taken into the OASIS for the first time, you already feel comfortable with the characters and feel as if they’re as real as their counterparts.

With a culture highly impacted by one from the ‘80s, it makes sense that the film would be littered with all kinds of references. Obviously, there’s the Delorean from “Back to the Future” and the Iron Giant from “The Iron Giant.” But the ones that aren’t shown in the trailers are the best. Without spoiling anything let me tell you that the best is yet to come.

The second challenge is probably the most controversial between book stans and movie fans. Wade and his friends have to enter a film to find the second key only, the film they enter in the movie is different than what Cline wrote. While book-fans may nag about it, Spielberg handpicked the film because the one in the novel — “War Games” — took too long to get to the point. We all know they need to find the key, why not make fun of the situation and put audiences on the edge of their seats?

What’s even cooler about this film is that it was directed by a 71-year-old man. Not only is that impressive considering this is something that a younger director would do, but also, Spielberg hasn’t done a sci-fi film like this in years. And he doesn’t shy away from his roots. He uses language, gets messy and makes it feel like the film belongs with other classics.

The film has so many aspects that make it great for every person. It’s got action. It’s got romance. It’s got video games. And the most important of all, it’s got ‘80s nostalgia. With all of that in mind, why wouldn’t you want to go see it in theaters?