From filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes the science fiction action adventure “Ready Player One,” based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon. The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger. Spielberg directed the film from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance
Release Date: March 29, 2018
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language
Runtime: 2h 20min
Ready Player One is an interesting bit of cinematic alchemy where 80s pop culture becomes pop culture in a fun if hollow fable. Steven Spielberg’s film is a rapid fire collection of gamer and 80’s references that hit you so quickly and consistently that’s it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The plot isn’t much more than an updated take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the characters aren’t terribly dense but it’s all fairly fun and energetic. Spielberg does some solid world building in and out of the Oasis with both having a certain charm. That being said it’s easy to be left with a ton more questions once you start thinking about the worlds being presented. Tye Sheridan leads the film ably even if he rates closer on the bland side than anything. Olivia Cooke is equally capable but provides a bit more spark than Sheridan. Lena Waithe and T.J. Miller are solid supporting players that provide some of the films highlights even if we never see Miller in the flesh. Mark Rylance is a tad over the top as the socially awkward creator but he does parse out some humanity and heart of him none the less. Ready Player One is a love letter to multiple things and it delivers some truly engaging and frenetic set pieces, one in particular I won’t ruin, but it does fall a little bit in love with itself especially towards the end which starts to drag just a tad before it ends with one Spielberg’s more candy coated finales.