Flashy adaptation of the book is full of pop culture references and striking visuals but a thin plot and shallow charactersWith the help of Van Halen’s Jump, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One launches its video game adventure story at full speed. The year is 2045; the place is Columbus, Ohio.

Our hero, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), fills in the details while climbing past his grungy homes of his town, “the stacks,” where trailer parks are piled on top of each other sky-high. Things are so miserable in Wade’s world, everyone escapes to play in an immersive virtual reality game known as the Oasis.

Its Steve Jobs-like founder, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) is worshipped like a god until his death some years before. However, before he left the mortal world, the benevolent creator left behind a series of games that would reward the winner with the Willie Wonka-like prize of the keys to his virtual kingdom.

Related: Spielberg’s Ready Player One – in 2045, virtual reality is everyone’s saviour Continue reading Read more from theguardian.com…

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