Ready Player One

ONCE again my favourite movie director delivers flawlessly a craft that is simply spellbinding with the touch of the nostalgic. Steven Spielberg delivers a memorable movie that combines virtual reality and adventure. Ready Player One is based on a bestseller of the same name (which thanks to its author, Ernest Cline) is already a popular book worldwide.

The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.

How the world got like this isn’t explicit (although both the “corn syrup droughts” and “bandwidth riots” are mentioned), but it’s not so outlandish you couldn’t see it happen. For most, it’s an existence worth escaping and to do so, humans plug themselves into the OASIS, a virtual world where anything is possible. For any filmmaker, that toy box is an enticing prospect, and there’s no one better to play in it than Steven Spielberg.

And when I say nostalgia, you will definately enjoy the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s jam that play out throughout the movie. Takes you way back!

That story focuses on a competition announced by James Halliday (Rylance), creator of the OASIS who, on his deathbed, launched a competition to find his successor. Hidden somewhere in the virtual world are three keys — the first to find them all will be granted his billion-dollar fortune and control over the VR realm. Ready Player One picks up five years later with the first key yet to be claimed. Most have given up searching, but Wade, his friends and many more are still on the hunt. Some of those “many more” include Nolan Sorrento (Mendelsohn), the nefarious CEO of rival software company Innovative Online Industries (IOI), who employs a vast squad of players to find the keys for him. This would be a bad thing. His ultimate goal is to make as much money as possible from it, even going so far as to force players who fall into debt to work in (online) labour camps known as Loyalty Centers.

It has great plot and funny lines. What got to me though is the fact that the movie seemed to rush through, it doesn’t stay back to show how the main players developed a great relationship and comaraderie. The movie doesn’t stay long to explore each of the characters and how they first met each other. It instead wants to take the audience through the maze of virtual reality that grips the imagination and toys with your sci fi fantasies.

Overall, I loved the movie. It’s riveting and computer-generated graphics are just spellbinding. Be sure to check it out.

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