Movie Review: “Ready Player One”

Michael Ambrosino, Entertainment Editor

Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg makes a sensational return to blockbuster cinema with “Ready Player One,” a film that essentially celebrates the years of blockbuster cinema.

“Ready Player One” is absolutely awesome. Spielberg, as we’ve seen through four decades, is a true visionary, and his masterful execution of a vision so exciting and vibrant has never broken the barriers of “fun at the movies” quite like this.

This film is relentless fun — one must be a real Scrooge to have not even a midly good time viewing “Ready Player One.” It presents an interesting future, where society has been consumed by a virtual reality system called The Oasis, which gives people the opportunity to create personal avatars and escape their harsh reality to enter a world filled with endless possibilities.

When the Oasis’ creator, James Halliday (played by Spielberg-regular Mark Rylance), dies, he introduces to the world a massive, “Willy Wonka”-type contest that sees Oasis users racing through three hidden challanges to acquire an easter egg, which would then reward them with total control of the Oasis.

One boy, the pop-culture-savvy Wade Watts (played by Tye Sheridan) whose avatar’s name is Parzival, teams up with four other Oasis users — including Aech and Art3mis (played by Lena Waithe and Olivia Cooke, respectively) — to find the easter egg and beat corporate baddie Sorrento (played marvelously by Ben Mendelsohn), from achieving it and threatening the lives of Oasis users.

“Ready Player One” has the Spielberg magic sprinkled all over it. It delivers non-stop thrills that feature some of the most famous pop-culture figures (and settings; there’s a terrific sequence that takes place in “The Shining’s” terrifying Overlook Hotel, which is arguably one of the best scenes Spielberg has ever made) of the 20th century. It’s an exciting, fast-paced visual extravaganza with tons of energy, a killer soundtrack and performers who bring significant likeability to their characters.

“Ready Player One” is endlessly entertaining. There is so much fun to be had.