Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance
Review: Based on Ernest Cline's bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon, Ready Player One 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.
Right off the bat, I would like to acknowledge that this movie is good. Perhaps very good. But I can only give it 3 stars, because the book is without a doubt a 4. I would give the book more stars if possible, but this isn't a book review. Anyways, I digress. Ready Player One is a highly entertaining movie that is sure to captivate its audience with spectacular visuals and copious homages to pop culture. One can lose their self in this movie geeking out over all of the "Easter eggs" sprinkled throughout. However, those watching this movie with hopes of a re-creation of Ernest Cline's hit novel may leave feeling disappointed.
The film is consistent in the overall premise, but a majority of the scenes and visuals cultivated by Cline are completely cast aside in favor of new ideas adapted for the big screen. Despite the film's many differences from the novel, I think if you go into this with reasonable expectations you'll realize that the roots are still there. You still have Wade, Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), and Aech (Lena Waithe) embarking on an adventure of a lifetime; battling Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) and the Sixers to keep their dear OASIS out of IOI control. This movie tells this amazing, imaginative story in a fun, exciting, and suspenseful way. While there are elements of the book that would have been incredible to see come to life on the big screen, I think it's important to note that just because the film lacks a lot of correlation to the novel, doesn't mean it's a poor effort. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of both mediums of Ready Player One immediately!