Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) doesn’t get a lot of screen time in Ready Player One. (Warner Bros Pictures image)

Reel Reviews: Ready all players

We say, “Spielberg makes a video game movie full of ’80s references.”

Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) leads the same two ordinary lives as everyone else. Living with his Aunt in a tower of trailers, the real world is a bit stressful and dirty. Online in “the Oasis” Wade becomes Parzival, a wealthy and popular avatar. In the Oasis people can be and do whatever they like. Wade and his friends compete to win a contest hidden inside the Oasis by its eccentric creator James Halliday (Mark Rylance) upon his death. Those who can decipher the clues left by Halliday can win control of the Oasis and great riches, but Parzival and his friends will have competition from the evil corporation IOI.

We say, “Spielberg makes a video game movie full of ’80s references.”

TAYLOR: I enjoyed Ready Player One. I expected to, as it is directed by Stephen Spielberg and is full of references to the 1980s. Taking place in a virtual reality, I thought it might be interesting for the eyes and ears, at the least. Luckily it was also fun.

HOWE: Ready Player One is visually stunning. The acting is good but I found it relying too heavily on the CGI effects. Sometimes I thought it was a little too cute. That’s not a bad thing in many ways and yes, you can take the kids. I did notice one bad word in the whole movie and if you were not paying attention you wouldn’t have noticed it. I do feel like the younger audience will enjoy this more than adults unless you are a die-hard gamer.

TAYLOR: I don’t know about that. I’m not a die-hard gamer and I enjoyed it. I think the biggest hurdle for me was getting past watching, essentially a cartoon, but that did happen and I was able to see these avatars as just characters. The movie is two hours twenty minutes long and at no point did my butt get sore. Ready Player One is a bit of a smart-alec, due to its desire to be funny. It might have dated itself a bit, perhaps just its authors.

HOWE: The movie itself is littered throughout with references to nostalgic things and not just gaming. In the beginning I was trying to keep a “reference count,” but after about five minutes I lost track. I liked that Ready Player One feels like a video game itself: you have to solve the mystery, unlock the clues and move to the next level. For that I can let the cuteness slide, a little.

FENIN: Well dad I can help you out there a little. There was the DeLorean from Back to the Future, Chucky, Michael Jackson’s leather jacket and Minecraft just to name a few. I loved Ready Player One, it is probably now my favourite.

HOWE: Even more than Back to the Future?

FENIN: Well, that is a tough call. This was funny, action packed and I really liked Parzival’s avatar. The film looked really cool, like a huge videogame.

Taylor gives Ready Player One 5 free lives out of 5.

Howe gives it 3.5 quarters for the arcade out of 5.

Fenin gives it 5 VR goggles out of 5.

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