Virtual reality these days increasingly seems to imitate reality. As a result, based on Ernest Cline’s book, Spielberg’s definitely made an efficient adaptation out of this (the story appears to overall follow the book, so you’ll learn what’s necessary from this review).
It takes place in 2045 where most people, including the protagonist, Wade Wilson, a natural and geeky Tye Sheridan, escape from reality into the OASIS software. A lot of the world’s populated by pop-culture references, especially per player avatars, and Spielberg naturally works his way through this as a reflection on escapism versus the idea of self-indulgence. The co-founder though, James Halliday’s (a quiet and meaningful Mark Rylance) died, and leaves an Easter egg promising the winner control over the OASIS.
Surprise surprise then, everyone takes part. Individuals such as Nolan Sorrento (a typically menacing Ben Mendelsohn), the CEO of a video game conglomerate, have more evil intentions. But then besides just Wilson, people including Samantha Cook (a hard-worn and excellent Olivia Cooke), fight back as a resistance.
For the first two acts Ready Player One feels on a role. By the third act however it slips more into convention, a shame given the pure thrill ride it otherwise feels like.
All the same, despite that particular weakness, it’s fair to say Spielberg still proves enough of a master with this film, and at the least if you’re a nerd, you’ll likely get some pleasure from this film!