Ready Player One

At 71, director Steven Spielberg shows no signs of slowing down.
Ready Player One his 33rd feature film is a CGI spectacle that improves on the original source material, Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel.

It’s 2045 and the world has gone awry. How we arrived at this point is never clearly explained (although the “corn syrup droughts” and “bandwidth riots” are mentioned). Living in The Stacks, Columbus Ohio (where trailers are literally piled on top of each other), orphan Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), like much of the populace seeks an escape from this existence by plugging into the OASIS a virtual world where anything is possible.

Five years earlier, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) the creator of the OASIS on his deathbed, launched a competition to find his successor. Hidden somewhere in the OASIS are three keys – the first to find them all will be granted his fortune (worth half a trillion dollars) and control over the VR realm.

Most have given up the search yet Wade and his online friends Art3mis, Aech, Sho are Daito are still on the hunt. Competing for the same goal is Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn – sadly one of the films weakest points, seemingly retreading his turns as Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises and Rogue One: A Star War Story‘s Orson Krennic) a former intern and head of Innovative Online Industries (I.O.I.) a company that wants to dominate the world.

Ready Player One is guilty of being about twenty minutes too long, nevertheless it’s a thrill ride filled with nostalgia, that will have Pop Culture fans gazing over its frames like a Where’s Wally? book and arguably Spielberg’s biggest crowd pleaser in years.

Three and a half stars