Steven Spielberg’s latest would make for a great drinking game. Whenever you spot a pop culture reference, you have to do a shot. None of you will get to see the end of the movie, but lots of fun will be had. That’s because Ready Player One is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 sci-fi novel and is pretty much non-stop 1980s pop culture references.
Like every movie that takes place in the future, the world has gone to shit. That’s how come Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is stuck in what once was Columbus, OH and where people now live in trailers piled on top of one another. Luckily for them, people have OASIS, a virtual reality platform that allows them to escape from their harsh reality. Created by the late James Halliday (Mark Rylance), the game completely immerses the player in an alternate world where they can be who they want to be and hang out with their friends.
But Halliday did not pass away before he challenged all the players dwelling around the OASIS to find the ultimate Easter egg. Hidden somewhere in the expansive VR world, are three keys. The first one to find them all, will not only win the creator’s fortune but will also have total control over OASIS.
That’s how come Wade and his best friend Aech (Lena Waithe) compete against hundreds of others time and time again in the first challenge, a race. First one to finish, will get the first key. Nobody has been able to finish the race though because it comes with obstacles like a very ticked off King Kong and a hungry T. Rex. Not even Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), a pink-haired goddess that both Wade and Aech have an eye on.
Of course Wade, Aech, Art3mis and fellow gunters (egg hunters) Daito (Win Morisaki) and Shoto (Philip Zhao) are not the only ones trying to track down the Easter egg. Like duh. Every movie needs its villain. In this case that would be Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), a big-time corporate douchebag who wants to take over OASIS so he can bombard the players with commercials until they suffer brain damage.
Is Ready Player One over the top? You better believe it. Start to finish, this movie will have you holding on like E.T. in his bicycle basket. It’s an absolute pleasure to watch though and shows that at the age of 71, Spielberg is still game.