The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be. Perhaps that could be the motto of “Ready Player One”, the new movie from Steven Spielberg. Based on a popular book by Ernest Cline (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Zak Penn), it dystopian look at not-too-distant future where most everyone is fixated on the past. In the extreme split between rich and dirt-poor, the greater population lives for the ‘OASIS’. It is an online virtual world of fantasy, dreams and hope for better things. The OASIS has a strange fascination for everything from the 1980’s. There is an evil corporation wanting to take over the OASIS and make just another profit center. But there are some underdog game fanatics who want to see the evil defeated and the OASIS world made safe for humanity, IRL (In Real Life).
IRL Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is known as Parzival in the OASIS. He has a meager existence for real, living with a poor aunt and her string of abusive boyfriends. They live in ‘The Stacks’ which is a high-rise trailer park of sorts. Wade is more at ease in the OASIS, because of his comprehensive knowledge of the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday (Mark Rylance). Halliday was a cross between Willy Wonka and Steve Jobs, because his intellect was far above his social skills. Before he died, Halliday told the world that the OASIS was up for grabs, due to an elaborate Easter Egg hunt game that he devised to test each person who attempted to compete. The person who can complete the Quest will be the owner and guardian of the OASIS, and one rich dude!
The evil corporation is called IOI and it is led by Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), a weasel of a CEO who wants to win the Quest and take over the OASIS. He has plans to charge fees and sell tons of ads, and that is something Halliday would never permit. But when Parzival gets some keen insights on Halliday that gives him an advantage to the get the first Key. There are three Keys that must be found before the OASIS Easter Egg will be passed on to the winner. Parzival meets a very talented fellow Gunter (egG hUNTER) named Art3mis (Olivia Cooke). She has many good skills to use in hunting the Egg. Parzival also has a long-time OASIS friend named Aech (Lena Waithe) who looks like a huge hunky dude in OASIS (but IRL, Aech is named Helen). Aech is wonder in the tech repair department, and Art3mis (IRL, she is Samantha Cook) is now part of the ongoing Quest.