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REVIEW — “Ready Player One”

Imagine if they had access to Star Wars for this

Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, and stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance. It tells a story set in the year 2045 where much of humanity, to escape the desolation of the real-world, use the virtual reality software OASIS to engage in work and play. Wade Watts discovers clues to a hidden game within the program that promises the winner full ownership of the OASIS, and joins several allies to try to complete the game before indentured players working for a large company, run by Nolan Sorrento can do so. So, I was cautiously optimistic for Ready Player One, and while an 80s throwback directed by Steven Spielberg sounds like the definition of a hit, I had my doubts. Spielberg has been in a short of slump recently and while I enjoyed The Post quite a bit, I know many people were sour on it. So, having seen it, what did I think? Ready Player One is a blast from start to finish. With great performances, an inventive story, and simply stunning action sequences, the Spielberg magic is back in spades here.

The master is at work here. Spielberg does a fantastic job directing here and the magic is most certainly back. This is directed with such a pulsating energy and pumps so much passion into Ready Player One that I find it hard not to be in awe. While it doesn’t reach the heights of Jurassic Park or Jaws, it is definitely top tier Spielberg. While it may have the pitfalls of many Spielberg films, everything is so well executed you can’t help but have fun. Spielberg himself said this is a movie, not a film, and I can’t agree more. Everything Ready Player One sets out to achieve, it succeeds. It’s fun, light, imaginative, and simply awesome. Kids will grow up loving this.

Zak Penn and Ernest Cline penned the script and while not the most original at times, do a fine job. Cline wrote the novel this is based on so clearly the essence of the book was captured, although the plot was greatly changed. While there are many obvious changes, the additions are so great. There is a scene in a hotel that is simply a blast. The script relies on the story, so, unfortunately, character development is lost along the way, and whenever they are not in the game, it can get boring. But when this is great, it’s a blast. While this may look like “Reference: The Movie” there is more to it than that. I found myself very invested in the story and loved the characters, although that may be due to their performances.

The cast here is great. Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke star here and they do a fantastic job. I’ve been a fan of these two for a while and I’m glad to see them making a bigger name for themselves. Sheridan makes a great leading man and adds a lot to his relatively underwritten character but Cooke shines here. Cooke does a fantastic job in this star-turning role and kills it in every scene. With this and Thoroughbreds she’s having a great year and I can’t wait to see more from her. Everyone in the cast does a very solid job here but what did you expect. I could go on forever about how well made this is, how great the action is, how dazzling the effects are, and how great the performances are but that would be redundant because this is a Spielberg. Everything the man makes is solid, this one just happened to tickle my fancy.

So, in my redundant and repetitive review, you can tell I clearly loved Ready Player One. See it with friends on the biggest screen possible. 4.5/5

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