Ready Player One
2018
***
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Lena Waithe, Philip Zhao, Win Monsaki

In 2045, people escape their dystopian existence to the OASIS, a virtual reality gaming world co-created by James Halliday. Before his death, Halliday offered full ownership of the OASIS to the player who solves three riddles and finds an Easter Egg. This challenge attracts individual gamers, like the 17-year-old orphan Wade Watts, and big corporations like IOI, who will stop at nothing to rule the gaming market. In the recent years, the screens have been flooded with dystopian science fiction movies, many of them based on popular young adult fiction. Steven Spielberg’s stab at the genre is adapted from Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel. After all the movies in this genre, and the likes of Inception, Total Recall, and Tron: Legacy, the story doesn’t feel terribly original. However, at its best, this is an enjoyably funny and suspenseful adventure which pays homage to 80s pop culture. At its worst, it’s like watching someone play a video game.