WARNING: READY PLAYER ONE SPOILERS AHEAD
It is easy to see how Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Ernest Cline novel “Ready Player One” could be heralded as a masterpiece. The film’s runtime may be 2 hours and 20 minutes, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. Reality and the OASIS blend seamlessly, and each world engages the movie-goer’s sense of wonder and adventure. The audience witnesses a thrilling story following Wade, Samantha, Helen, Akihide, and Toshiro just as much as they do following Parzival, Art3mis, Aech, Sho, and Daito.
There are many reasons why you may find yourself interested in this movie. Maybe you’re a fan of the novel. Cline’s book is herald as a New York Times Bestseller. Maybe you’re a fan of the actors. You may know Tye Sheridan from his turn as Scott Summers/Cyclops in “X-Men: Apocalypse.” Sheridan tackles the lead role of Wade Watts/Parzival in “Ready Player One.” You may recognize Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the villain Nolan Sorrento in “Ready Player One,” for his role as Orson Krennic in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Both Sheridan and Mendelsohn give particularly engaging and captivating performances. Maybe you’re excited by the number of pop culture references featured in the promotional material. If you are leaning toward the final reason, here are a few pop culture references you will find in “Ready Player One:”
“The Iron Giant” is a 1999 film set in the United States. Hogarth, a nine-year-old, befriends an alien known as the Iron Giant. When government official Kent Mansley comes around, Hogarth enlists an artist, Dean, to help protect his new friend.
1985 gave us Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly. McFly is friends with scientist Doc Brown. When Doc creates a DeLorean time machine, Marty is sent back in time.
KITT, a sports car with artificial intelligence, is a key component to Michael Knight. Knight is a crimefighter formerly known as Michael Long. When he is injured, a benefactor supplies him with the tools to heal and begin fighting crime again.
Released in 1988, “Akira” is based on the Japanese manga of the same name. When a man gains telekinetic/psychic abilities from a military experiment gone wrong, Neo-Tokyo is placed in danger. It is up to a biker gang member and a group of allies to save everyone.
A popular film released in 1980, “The Shining” is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. When a family moves into a hotel that is haunted by an evil spirit, they discover that their stay won’t be quite what they expected.
This robotic version of Godzilla is sent to destroy Japan. Godzilla rises to the challenge to defeat his enemy. You can witness this epic battle in 1974’s “Godzilla v Mechagodzilla.”
A star of the film “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across 8th Dimension,” the story follows Buckaroo Banzai. He is an “adventurer, brain surgeon, and rock musician” who creates a team to stop aliens coming from the 8th adventurer.
Some blink-and-you-might-miss-it pop culture references are from “Marvin the Martian,” “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Halo,” “Beetlejuice,” Tracer from “Overwatch,” various DC characters, and the chestburster from “Alien.”
Different pop culture references have elicited different responses. GU student Brenna Weins knew that she’d love the Iron Giant going in, saying “that’s my childhood.” After viewing the movie, however, she also added the Holy Hand Grenade reference from Monty Python.
When discussing the movie with a Hot Topic employee, we talked about how the Iron Giant might be portrayed in this film versus his portrayal in his own film. Particularly, the use of the Iron Giant as a gun.
There are various reasons for wanting to see “Ready Player One.” The beauty of Spielberg’s latest film is that there is something for everyone. No matter your reason for wanting to watch this movie, be sure to look out for the multiple pop culture references littered throughout the film, including the ones mentioned above!