Ready Player One came out in 2018, and you know what? I’m still thinking about it. Having read the book, there are a lot of differences between the movie and the novel that make them totally different in a lot of ways. But that’s half the fun of the film, since so much of it feels fresh and new if you’re already familiar with the story.
We’ve talked about how there’s something about the movie that may be even better than the book, and we’ve also parsed through some of the mystery of the film. But I think we’re far enough from the film’s release that I can now just gush over how insane the movie is with some its pop culture references. So without further ado.
Parzival's Epic Tour of OASIS
Early on in the film, Wade Watts, a.k.a Parzival, describes the virtual world of OASIS. He mentions how you can be pretty much anyone or anything you want in the simulated world. He also says that you can go anywhere you want, too, mentioning how you can climb Mount Everest if you feel so inclined to. But not alone mind you. With Batman!
I love this moment in the film because it creates such an imaginative world right off the bat (no pun intended). Plus, it's different from the book. If you aren’t aware, the book is pretty much entirely dedicated to the ‘80s. And while Batman was definitely in the ‘80s to be sure, the Batman in the movie is a more modern version. So it was mind blowing to know that anything in pop culture, no matter the decade, was fair game for the movie.
The Race For the Copper Key
In order to acquire a copper key to advance to the next challenge, Parzival goes on a wild ride in a DeLorean (because of course he does). The race he enters is utter madness, with cars flipping in the air and crashing with reckless abandon. But the part that really blows my mind is when Parzival's crush, Art3mis, enters the race since she’s riding Keneda’s bike from the cult classic film, Akira.
And the best part is when she does the Akira slide beneath a truck. The Akira slide, if you didn’t know, has actually been imitated in a lot of different cartoons, so it was just cool that it made its way to the big screen and got the homage that it so rightfully deserved.
Parzival Beats King Kong
Speaking of the big race, the final boss of the race is King Kong. And nobody beats King Kong. That’s why the race is so impossible! There’s also a T-Rex in the race, which is obviously its film’s director, Steven Spielberg, having a little fun and referencing his own movie, Jurassic Park.
But back to Kong. Parzival discovers an underground tunnel and drives backward beneath King Kong to win the race. What makes this moment mind blowing, though (besides the fancy driving) is that it actually makes King Kong scary. This is no small feat, since King Kong is rarely scary. Maybe only in Kong: Skull Island does he actually elicit fright. As a huge fan of monster movies in general, I appreciated seeing a terrifying King Kong on the big screen destroying all the cars in the race. Hopefully King Kong can be terrifying again in the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong.
Mechagodzilla Emerges in the Final Battle of Castle Anorak
It’s hard to bring up King Kong without also bringing up Godzilla. In the final, epic battle of the film, the big bad, Nolan Sorrento, who wants to collect all the Easter Eggs and purchase OASIS, unleashes the ultimate weapon when he initiates Mechagodzilla.
The battle is epic, but the most mind blowing part is the fact that this is actually the first American appearance of Mechagodzilla! No lie. None of the three American Godzilla films have featured the big metal behemoth. And while this might offend some, I actually think the Mechagodzilla in Ready Player One is the best Godzilla-related anything we’ve ever gotten from America. I’m sorry, but this Mechagodzilla is actually intimidating, and the Godzillas we’ve produced stateside so far have been anything but.
Daito Uses the Gregarious 120 Artifact to Turn into the RX-78-2 Gundam
In the beginning of the movie, there's a massive battle on Planet Doom for the precious Gregarious 120 Artifact, which would allow anybody to pick the robot of their choice for 120 seconds. Daito wins the battle, and gets the Artifact, which he uses in the climatic battle against Mechagodzilla alongside Aech, who chooses the Iron Giant as her robot of choice.
I remember seeing this scene in the movie theaters, and the audience exploded with cheers when they saw a Gundam fighting Mechagodzilla on the big screen. This is the stuff that my dreams are made of and I still get goosebumps just thinking about the moment.
Everybody and Their Mother Joins the Battle at Castle Anorak
Yeah, I just can’t stop thinking about that final battle. After Art3mis shuts down the Orb of Osuvox, which takes down a shield at the Castle, Parzival shouts a battle cry for the key, and everybody who wants the third Easter Egg mobilizes into battle. The fight is awesome, but the most mind blowing part is the massive amount of different characters from some of my all-time favorite movies, shows and games. Just pause the final battle at any moment, and you’ll find a plethora of characters—Spawn, Gremlins, He-Man—running into the battle. The list just goes on and on.
But my favorite reference of all is of the Battletoads, as all three of them—Rash, Pimple, and Zitz—can be seen racing into the fight. Never in a million years did I ever think I would see my precious Battletoads on the big screen, but I did, and I have Ready Player One to thank for it.
Aech and Company Have to Survive The Shining
And lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the awesome homage to Stanley Kubrick's classic movie, The Shining. In order to get the second key, Parzival and his friends have to survive the horrors at the Overlook Hotel. But there's one huge problem. Aech hates horror movies!
The mind blowing part is all the famous scenes lovingly created for this movie. The blood from the elevator scene, the two twins in the hallway, the naked woman in the bathroom. It all actually plays a major part in the plot, and it’s funny to see Aech’s reaction to it all.
There’s a lot more stuff from the Ready Player One movie that still blows my mind, but those are the seven biggest. What moment (or moments) from Ready Player One blow your mind? Sound off in the comments.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.