After Hours Review: Ready Player One

There is nothing quite as fun as an ’80’s movies throw back. At least not if you were raised on them like I was. Some of the first films that graced the shelf of my family’s VHS collection in the early ’90s were War Games, The Breakfast Club and E.T. This a time when Steven Spielberg made a massive name for himself, and Spielberg’s latest film, Ready Player One, which opened yesterday, looks like a love note to his fans and fellow directors from that time.

The plot of Ready Player One is pretty straight forward, and when I say that I DO NOT mean boring. It goes like this:  In a world that is overrun by a desire to run away, people spend practically all of their time in a virtual world. While everyone is plugged in and searching for a prize that could make their wildest dreams come true, a villain is plotting to destroy everything, all from the safety of real world.

As many know, I’m not a gamer girl, and I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to relate to this film. The trailers looked visual interesting, but visuals only take you halfway if the story is hard to follow. I have to say that while I didn’t get all the references, and I suspect even the most pop-culture-savvy individuals would need to watch it a couple times to do so, I had no problem following the story, which was freaking amazing.

This movie is supposed to be one of Spielberg’s highest cost movies to date, and given the amount of copyright clearances for cameos, I could definitely believe it. Whatever the cost, it was totally worth it, as there is something for everyone.  For example, there are perfectly timed musical nods, such as on to Twisted Sisters’ “We’re Not Going to Take It,” which was giving me hardcore Iron Eagle vibes.

The film gives moviegoers a heart felt story of a creator in love with his creation and fighting the corruption of it from beyond the grave, as well as a young hero who doesn’t know he’s a hero yet, but has all the makings to be great. Everything audiences loved about films like E.T. is somehow brought into this hyper-modern world that looks like  it was designed in a ’80’s comic book. All this while avatars that are incredibly modern share the screen time with their human hosts. It’s truly a wildly geeky, nostalgic ride that is not to be missed.

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