Ready Player One (Movie Review)

 

Ready Player One (2018) is directed by Steven Spielberg and it is a return to form for the iconic director. Ready Player One is the perfect concept to play to Spielberg's strengths as a movie director. The film stars Tye Sheridan (X-Men Franchise), Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel), and Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). The story of Ready Player One takes place in the not so distant future, 2045 to be exact, and everyone is living in the virtual world. Wade (Watts) escapes into the OASIS where millions of people flood to in search of a key left by the games creator (an easter egg). But behind every good intention there are those who want to wield that power for their own gain and Wade must join the rebellion to win and keep the OASIS from falling into the wrong hands. 

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Steven Spielberg is back! At least that's what some people are saying. Ready Player One is the movie experience of 2018 if you are a pop culture fiend. The blend of live-action and virtual CG make this a movie experience. Tye Sheridan plays Wade, the hero of the story and every moment and feeling we the audience experience is through his eyes. The feeling of wonder and awe. As a lead, Sheridan really does great job pulling all the pieces together and becoming the focal point of every angle each character plays in the film. Olivia Cooke who plays Samantha/Art3mis is one of these characters who becomes a thread because of Wade. Cooke does an incredible job of transitioning from a voice in the OASIS to her live-action counterpart as part of the resistance. The relationship of Wade & Samantha at times feels very forced, for a 2 hour movie with nothing but time it sounds strange to say that but it does feel rushed. On the other side of the spectrum is Ben Mendelsohn's 'Sorrento', the villain of the story who want's the OASIS for himself to have full control. This is where the film has some tonal issues, the stakes of the film suddenly rise and gets a bit dark for a film marketed as popcorn fun. The tone is only slightly changed for this one scene in particular but then it returns back to the film it started out as. 

Overall, the CG work was amazing and really built the OASIS up. The avatars are what gave the real world counterparts character. Tye is a leading man in the making and Ready Player One is a great start to that. Olivia Cooke keeps shining in big roles and is a force in Hollywood. The plot of the film is simple and fun but tonally compromised in one scene that in the end is never really paid off. 

The Grade

B-