Stars: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen, Susan Lynch, Ralph Ineson, Perdita Weeks.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Ernest Cline, Zak Penn, & Eric Eason.
Strap right in, start your engines, leave the book at the front door and enjoy this mega visually stunning adaptation of Ernest Cline's fanboy extravaganza. Spielberg is the man to make this novel into the cinematic version that it needs. The screenplay team have trimmed down the fun, convoluted trivia plot and streamlined the delivery of a dang good time of your life. This movie is bad ass by just being what it is; a Spielberg adventure tale at the level of actual top notch Spielberg—well done sir.
Easter eggs, reference, intertextuality, and fandom are dealt well here. The novel spends a great deal of time piling lists of 80s nostalgia to the brink of almost toppling the story that is so intriguing. Here we have balance that emphasis the beauty of pop culture and the realities of living in a time where we live in said pop culture. Wade Watts/Parzival (Tye Sheridan) and his merry men and women are determined to keep the virtual world of the Oasis out of the corporate hands of IOI—preserving net neutrality.
The visual worlds of both reality and the Oasis are stunning here. Both worlds are unique and beautiful in individual ways. The Stacks, IOI's headquarters, and Columbus itself is so well designed that you don't mind escaping from the immersive world of the Oasis. The Oasis while completely unreal in its structure and design is grounded in an intensely exaggerated reality that the shift from actual reality is not too distracting. The camera flow within the Oasis flows and twines while the real world camera is cemented by real world rules.
I enjoyed the book, the beginning is a little distracting as from the offset it deviates from the original text. But by the end of the first 15 minutes I was so happy that they made this its own version, its own embodiment as it allows you to just see this as a great movie in its own right and be Spielberg'd just like we have been before.