REVIEW: Ready Player One

Review by Dustin Heller

Ready Player One is the new sci-fi adventure film from a true filmmaking legend, Steven Spielberg.  You may have heard of him–he directed some moderate hits like E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park just to name a few.  The movie is based on the 2011 novel of the same name written by Ernest Cline (who also helped write the screenplay).  The excellent cast includes Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance.  Ready Player One is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language.  This is not a movie for younger kids.

The year is 2045, and the real world has become a desolate and boring place.  To escape this reality, society spends the majority of their time in a virtual reality world known as the OASIS.  The creator of the OASIS has passed on, but he left three hidden keys within the VR world that will unlock an Easter egg giving the owner full control of the OASIS.  Wade Watts and his friends are always on the hunt for the keys, but they have fierce competition in the form of a mega company that has put all its efforts into finding this egg.  As keys are found and clues unlocked, the competition gets more intense, becoming a race of life and death inside and outside the OASIS.

Wow!  I was not expecting this at all! Ready Player One is the best movie I’ve seen so far in 2018.  Steven Spielberg has turned back the clock and given us one of his vintage adventure films and an instant classic.  The dynamic and vivacious filmmaking feels like it was created by someone in their twenties, not their seventies.  We’ve come expect more adult/awards-worthy fare from Spielberg over the last few years, but Ready Player One proves that he is still at the top of his game in every facet.

Everything about this film is BIG: the special effects, the sound, the storyline, the acting, etc.  Ready Player One is a reminder to me personally why I love the movies; when a film has the ability to transport you to a place you thought could only exist in your mind, that is truly movie magic.  All the pop culture references throughout the film are a lot of fun, too!

This is a movie that, without question, needs to be experienced at the Cineplex on the biggest screen possible.  Part of me thinks that is the reason Spielberg made this film in the first place–to keep the love of cinema in a movie theater alive.  If that was at all his intent, he got his point across loud and clear.

The entire cast was excellent, and Tye Sheridan is a superstar in the making; a lot of the weight of this film was put on his shoulders and he delivered.  The intense score by Alan Silvestri is fierce and impassioned and such an important part of the overall impact of the movie.

If you couldn’t tell, I really loved this movie.  Looks like summer movie season begins a few months early this year.

Grade:  A

Ready Player One opens nationwide on Friday, March 30