Come ready to play for Ready Player One

Lena Waithe as Helen in Ready Player One (Photo by Jaap Buitendijk).

Ready Player One is a fun-tastic new science fiction adventure film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name. The film is set in the year 2045 where much of humanity, to escape the desolation of the real-world, use virtual reality in “The 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 a half-trillion dollars. He joins several allies to try to complete the game before indentured players working for a large company, IOI (Innovative Online Industries), can do so.

Tye Sheridan plays Watts, who wishes to win the Quest so he can leave the stacks. Olivia Cooke plays Art3mis, who works with various allies to ensure the OASIS is kept free and out of the hands of IOI. Ben Mendelsohn plays Nolan Sorrento, the CEO of IOI , who seeks full control over the OASIS. Lena Waithe plays Aech, longtime friend of Wade’s, who runs a virtual garage to create and fix various vehicles and items. T. J. Miller plays i-R0k, a freelance weapons / magic item dealer and bounty hunter. Simon Pegg plays Ogden Morrow, co-creator of the OASIS who eventually left the company due to personal reasons and harbors a concern about how much people have grown to have an unhealthy dependency on the game. Mark Rylance plays James Halliday, the deceased co-creator of the OASIS who includes an Easter Egg hidden in the OASIS after his passing that grants control over the OASIS to its winner. Hannah John-Kamen plays F’Nale Zandor, the head of IOI’s operations in the physical world, as well as their indentured servitude programs. Letitia Wright (Shuri from Black Panther) portrays Reb.

Hannah John-Kamen is in Ready Player One

As in the book, Ready Player One pays homage to the popular culture of primarily the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. There are absolutely too many characters, video games, films, vehicles and space ships to even begin to list in this 500 word article, not to mention the joy of the surprise element of watching them appear on screen. The producers spent several years to secure the rights for all the copyrighted elements used in the film. Their attention to detail in putting these elements in the film make it a must-see for anybody with a pulse. Audiences like the one at the screening i attended love seeing so many of their favorites ‘blast from the past’ onto the screen like the Delorean from Back to the Future.

The film premiered at South by Southwest on March 11, 2018, and was released by Warner Bros. in the United States on March 29, 2018. The official soundtrack is released by WaterTower Music as of March 30, 2018. The music in the movie includes great classic songs by The Temptations, Tears for Fears, Prince, Hall and Oates, and others, and really adds to the enjoyment of the film.

The $175 million film has a rating of PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language) and a runtime of 140 minutes. Critics have praised the film’s visuals, performances, and brisk pacing, noting it as improvement over the book. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 84% based on 79 reviews, and the Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus is that “Ready Player One is a sweetly nostalgic thrill ride that neatly encapsulates Spielberg’s strengths while adding another solidly engrossing adventure to his filmography.”

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