When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.
Release Date: 28th March 2018 (UK) // 29th March 2018 (US)
My thoughts coming out of the cinema? Wow. Just. Wow. Also, there was a crippling disappointment knowing I would have to wait at least 10 days before I could see it again. 3D also is used very well in this film, It isn’t added for an in-your-face BAHM effect, rather much like Avatar, it is used to enhance the experience, bringing the viewer into the world. I appreciated the idea that as we put on our glasses we were entering the OASIS much like characters in the film.
We are quickly introduced into the world of the OASIS and, what the world outside the game has turned into. It was informative without being a dump of information for the viewer, just setting the scene through the impeccable visuals and narrative. After the title card do we really get into the meat of the story – setting up character dynamics and the plot – the hunt for the three
rings keys. The story has been well constructed and the viewer themselves feel like they are part of the game, it hits the right notes with gamer’s who appreciate the puzzle-solving linear story that many games utilise.
As stated earlier, the visuals in the film are gripping and dynamic. When in the OASIS, anything is possible and the colours are enhanced and bright. It really feels like you are in an open world with side-quests and diversionary games to keep you entertained. I particularly enjoyed the almost behind the scenes piece seen on the road to the first key. You’ll know it when you see it. But, when the goggles come off the world appears muted and brown, the richness of life seems to be confined in the game. The world they live in looks desolate with caravans towered up on each other and one company who appears to look over them all.
The score is utilised to great effect to drive home this duality, while additionally adding an extra pop of nostalgia for the audience with songs from the 1980s to the 2010s. Head bopping fun I tell you.
As for the characters, as they say you never really know who is on the other side of the character and this is shown in the film. Who cares what age you are when you are literally the best ninja fighter? The performances of Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke are well nuanced and do convey a gravitas when required. For roles which rely heavily on voice acting only they do extremely well. I enjoyed Simon Pegg’s character throughout – I think he was enjoying being an old man by the end. Ben Mendelsohn is appropriately slimy and tyrannical in equal measure.
I did not read the book going into this, I purely saw it because of Anne’s excitement. So when given the chance to see the film pre-release I was all for it, and extremely glad I did. Now, I am someone who is familiar with games and movies so the pop-culture references through-out were not lost on me – I got a lot more than the people I went to see it with anyway. Even the older films (Thanks Dad! – I think?). I would say that even for the casual gamer and/or movie goer there is such a variety packed in that I really do believe everyone will recognise something be it Back to the Future or Overwatch. If you are unsure, give it a chance the story is there and it is enjoyable even if you don’t get the references.