Simon Pegg wasn't taking on new work when Steven Spielberg called

Ready Player One Reviews Are In—and It's Giving Critics Pop Culture Whiplash

Ready Player One Reviews Are In—and It's Giving Critics Pop Culture Whiplash

As niche as these references and characters might sound to some people, there is no denying that pop culture has formed or shaped your imagination in one way or another.

"Ready Player One" will revisit several Spielberg themes including his obsession with Stanley Kubrick. He was the ideal choice to adapt Ernest Cline's novel, elevating the enjoyable source material into a work of pop art. It's more hard to do pop culture references in a film or a television show than on the page. But look: If you're a fan of the pop culture of the 1980s, this is the movie for you (listen up, Gen-Xers). It's an absolute blast.

As eye-popping as is the kaleidoscopic OASIS - a shinier, bigger-budget, less amusing pop-culture soup than the one stirred in "The Lego Movie" - "Ready Player One" is best when it keeps a foot in to the real world.

The largest fault of the film is when the romance subplot between Wade and another avatar named Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) is allowed to overshadow the rest of the story. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance).

Thus, the typical quest plot is put into gear as Wade and thousands of others, including his friends Helen (Lena Waithe), Daito (Win Morisaki), Sho (Philip Zhao) and love interest Samantha (Olivia Cooke) enter The Oasis on a daily basis in an attempt to solve this puzzle.

For Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), the sinister and wealthy CEO of the global ISP Innovative Online Industries (IOI), the prize would means more money and more power.

Working from a screenplay by Zak Penn ("The Incredible Hulk") and Cline, Spielberg conjures the filmmaking mojo that established his reputation decades ago. Supporting players here include Hannah John-Kamen, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Letitia Wright, and more. Visually, this is as impressive as anything the director has done in some time.

Chances are if you like films you enjoy something from Steven Spielberg's eclectic and lengthy filmography.

"It has recently come to my attention that Carl's Jr. wants to rename their charbroiled sliders "SpielBurgers" and they're pretty good, but I'm passing", Spielberg said in a selfie video video. But it becomes suitable for mature viewers only once key scenes from the inventor's favorite movie, 1980's "The Shining", are re-created. Blink and you'll miss Letitia Wright ("Black Panther") as a virtual extra here. It's just a joy to watch, especially in the hands of the master. Ready Player One is the first film he has made for Warners since A.I.

Want to score that egg?

"I think we're actually very current focused".

For all the adventure of the Oasis, and the possibilities for escape it presents, the film takes a cautionary tone when it comes to the future of virtual reality. We shall see, at least. A Warner Bros. release playing at Franklin Park, Fallen Timbers, Levis Commons, Bowling Green, and Mall of Monroe. What could be perfectly compact scenes become moments that you make you scratch your head, wondering, "Did we really need that?" It may not be the sort of prestige fare that The Post was past year, but in terms of just being a good time at the movies, this is Spielberg totally in control.

Still, for Sheridan, the experience was also freeing, "because you get to revert back to a place where you are your most imaginative and uninhibited" - an actor forced to conjure up not just their character's inner life, but the outer one, too.

Ready Player One hits theaters tomorrow.

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