I've never been a gamer, and I find virtual reality quite unsatisfying in its current state of development. So, you might think I would have little interest in Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg's new movie based on those activities. However, when I saw the trailer, I was intrigued, at least by the visuals. Even better, it was graded in Dolby Vision and mixed in Atmos for Dolby Cinemas, so I bought a ticket.
Things are pretty bleak by the year 2045. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) lives in Columbus, Ohio—the poor part of town called The Stacks, where people live in mobile homes and shipping containers that have been stacked on top of each other in rickety scaffolds. The only escape from this dismal existence is The OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation), a VR/gaming environment developed by James Halliday (Mark Rylance) and Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg) where you can go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone you wish.
Wade, who goes by Parzival in The OASIS, has several friends in the virtual world, including Aech (Lena Waithe), Sho (Philip Zhao), and Daito (Win Morisaki). He soon meets Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), who joins them in an epic quest. Halliday has died, leaving behind a challenge: Whoever finds the Easter egg he has hidden within The OASIS will inherit his entire fortune and gain complete control over the virtual world he created.
Of course, Parzival and his pals—known collectively as the High Five—aren't the only ones seeking the Easter egg. Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), head of Innovative Online Industries, will stop at nothing to secure the egg—and control of The OASIS—for his company's greedy ends. I-R0k (T.J. Miller) is his evil yet hilarious henchman leading an indentured army of IOI debtors bent on stopping the High Five and finding the egg.
Ready Player One is a visual feast with state-of-the-art CGI and tons of pop-culture references. And it's spectacular in Dolby Vision HDR and Atmos immersive sound.
For more, read my review here