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Ready Player One

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Starring Tye Sheridan and Mark Rylance

For all the great films Steven Spielberg has made since Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders and E.T., this is the one that’s closest in spirit and rush to the four of them. This is unapologetically a commercial action film designed to put spectacle first. Within five minutes, you know everything you need to know about this world. Based on the novel of the same name from author Ernest Cline it’s not a reboot or reimagining of a comic book or old film. It’s an original story that may appeal to moviegoers who say everything is based on recycled ideas. At the same time its chock a block with enough pop culture icons to warm the hearts of any nostalgic movie lover. The year is 2045 and quite literally everyone escapes the derelict future by plugging into a parallel virtual world called the OASIS. The driving force of the game is the Easter egg. On his deathbed, the creator of OASIS, James Halliday, unveiled a series of challenges and mysteries that exist in the world. Solve three puzzles, collect three keys and unlock the coveted Easter egg, and you’ll win control of the entire OASIS.

Together with his friends, our hero Wade embarks on an epic journey that takes him through many realms including a house of horrors all the while being chased by Nolan Sorrento the CEO of an evil corporation which makes VR equipment.

Outside of Watts, Halliday and maybe Sorrento, the supporting cast are simply that. One of the films many highlights is the recreation of the stunning sequence from the classic film “The Shining” in the Overlook Hotel (complete with monster lady, creepy twins and an ax-wielding maniac) this is brilliantly done and Spielberg makes sure all scenes in the virtual world of OASIS are a joy to watch. “Ready Player One” is pure escapism that begs the question; will there ever be a video game movie that really works? The function of storytelling is vastly different between videogames and film and yet filmmakers try for an amalgam, the best of both worlds. What we end up with here is possibly as close as we will ever get to the best. Steven Spielberg finds in his treatment of this movie, a film that honours the spirit of the games at the expense of great storytelling but with brilliant ideas and special effects.

Rated M 8 out of 10