Kyle J. Steenblik

Ready Player One is Edge to Edge Nostalgic Fun

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Ready Player One
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Based on Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance
Production company Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Amblin Partners, De Line Pictures, Farah Films & Management
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date March 29, 2018
Running time 140 minutes
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language
4 1/2 stars out of 5
From filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes the action adventure “Ready Player One,” based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon. In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spends their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone—the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the Oasis to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends—called the High Five—are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS.

Ready Player One is an action-packed spectacle to be sure but it is also surprisingly smart post-modern science fiction.  While it is undoubtedly made for an audience on the younger side in no way does the film condescend to beat the audience over the head with some profound morals.  Should anyone in the audience miss some of the subtler social commentary the overall entertainment value of the film will not be harmed.  The segment of the movie going audience that will manage to extract the most value from repeated viewings of this film are the Easter-egg hunters.  I cannot help but believe that is entirely be design, making this an almost interactive viewing experience.  On top of all of that, this film is fun, it conjures memories of hours spent in an arcade, or kneeling too close to an old tube television franticly smashing buttons until your thumbs are sore.

There has been a question swimming around Steven Spielberg in recent years.  It is well known he can turn out a crucially acclaimed award-winning drama, but can he turn in a thrilling blockbuster?  I can positively testify to the fact that he has not lost a step and has learned several new tricks to thrill an all new generation.  I hope he sticks around this genera for a little while, teaming up with this new generation of filmmakers he helped inspire.

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