Review: Ready Player One is a great spectacle which will thrill fans of 80s nostalgia


Ready Player One. Image: WARNER BROS ENTERTAINMENT - Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Based on the Ernest Cline book of the same name, Ready Player One sees legendary director Steven Spielberg bring the popular story to the big screen.

Set in the year 2045, the world’s population seek solace from the harsh reality of their dystopian planet by immersing themselves in a 1980s-themed virtual world known as the Oasis.

When the game’s owner dies, he leaves behind a trail of clues leading to the ultimate Easter Egg.

A prize which will grant the owner complete control of the Oasis and power over the future of mankind.

Starring young actors Ty Sheridan and Olivia Cooke in the lead roles, the film follows young gamer Wade Watts (Sheridan) as he strives to claim the prize. Along with his online friends Artemis (Cooke) and Aech (Lena Waithe) the team of talented players battle against a huge corporation intent on claiming the prize for themselves at any cost.

Ben Mendelsohn stars as the corporations devious leader Nolan Sorrento, and, as usual, is thoroughly engaging as the film’s main antagonist.

Oscar winner Mark Rylance takes on the role of reclusive game creator James Halliday via a series of flashbacks and it is his obsession with the 80s that really makes Ready Player One special.

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The film bounces along to an upbeat soundtrack of 80’s hits and the virtual world of the Oasis is littered with pop culture references from that period, making the film a real celebration of the era.

Together with special effects company ILM, Spielberg meticulously crafts both the real and virtual worlds, but never dwells too long in either.

The overall plot is a little ‘by the numbers’ but the film’s rapid pace and breathtaking visuals mean it’s very hard not to get swept along for the ride.

The 80s nostalgia will delight adults who remember the era, but there is also enough here to charm the younger gaming generation.

Ready Player One is a wonderful slice of popcorn entertainment that recaptures the Spielberg magic of old.

A great spectacle and tremendous fun throughout.

Ready Player One is being screened at Stowmarket Regal from Friday, April 13, to Thursday, April 19.

For more information on upcoming films and shows, visit the cinema’s website at