Small Screen Reviews
Ready Player One Review
What’s It About?
A youngster escapes his poverty, like so many others, by immersing himself in a virtual reality world known as the OASIS, in a bid to find three hidden keys and ultimately uncover untold riches. However, plenty of other people have the same idea including an evil corporation with pots of money at its disposal.
Who’s In It?
Tye Sheridan (X:Men: Apocalypse, Mud)
Olivia Cooke (The Quiet Ones, Me, Earl & The Dying Girl, & more recently The Limehouse Golem)
Other notables include:
Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline, Star Wars Rogue One, Darkest Hour)
Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall, Bridge Of Spies, The BFG)
Director: Steven Spielberg (E.T., Indiana Jones, Bridge Of Spies, & more recently The Post to name just a few)
Steven Spielberg, the master of pure entertainment and the architect behind many of our favourite childhood memories, is back in the saddle with a pure blockbuster. After delivering impressive, serious pieces of cinema with Lincoln, Bridge Of Spies and The Post, Steven Spielberg has clearly decided to have a bit of fun by taking on Ernest Cline’s popular novel and mixing classic pop culture with the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, King Kong, The A-Team, Back To The Future and the Iron Giant to name just a few.
Set in Ohio in 2045, the world looks a little bleak and overcrowded following climate and energy crises, with plenty of people living in poverty in estates made from campervans piled one on top of the other. The only escape for many is to delve into the world of virtual reality, and try to find the three hidden keys in the OASIS – a VR world created by the eccentric James Halliday – which will give the finder access to Halliday’s billion dollar fortune.
Youngster Wade Watts is giving it his best shot, but when he has some initial success, he soon gains the unwanted attentions of an evil corporation also after the prize, led by the dubious Nolan Sorrento.
The cast is made up of some talented youngsters including Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke in the lead roles, who provide plenty of heart and energy, but the real interest comes from the ever-impressive Mark Rylance as Halliday, and the always dependable Ben Mendelsohn as Sorrento, though anyone who has seen Bloodline might wish for him to be given more expanded roles other than just generic baddie (see also Star Wars Rogue One).
The visuals are truly incredible in this film and the crossovers between real world and VR are handled expertly, as you would expect, by Spielberg, but the script is a little lacking and somewhat predictable, which does hamper it somewhat.
In A Nutshell:
Breathtaking graphics, non-stop action and endless pop culture references, helmed by the safest pair of hands, Steven Spielberg.
The story doesn’t hold up as well
Release date: 06/08/2018
Certificate: 12 / 12A