Ready Player One (PG)
Starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Based on Ernest Cline’s geek-pleasing novel, Ready Player One is essentially a treasure hunt through virtual-reality open world known as the Oasis, where gamers (via their avatars) race against time to locate an Easter egg that’ll decide the future of this pixelated playground.
Steven Spielberg’s first action flick since 2011’s The Adventures of Tintin is breathlessly amazing… visually, that is. If you’re a fanboy, you’ll definitely have a blast with the Oasis, a nerd heaven littered up the Ying Yang with pop cultural references to ’80s and ’90s music/movies/TV shows/video games.
But when you’re done with the trainspotting, the movie becomes — and it pains me to say this — strangely disposable; a self-referential flick with no self to refer to. Nope, let me take that back: There’s a heart-stopping vehicular rally and a cheeky homage to Spielberg’s favourite filmmaker Stanley Kubrick that beg to be turned into VR theme park rides. (***)