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Film

Ready Player One

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Adapted from a bestseller hailed for its nifty premise and frenetic pacing but derided for its clunky prose, Ready Player One carries over both the strengths and weaknesses of its source material. Set in 2045, it envisions a dystopian America which has fallen into partial ruin as the result of an energy crisis. To escape their grim reality, many turn to the OASIS, a thrillingly immersive, heavily customisable virtual reality game. Our plucky protagonist Wade (Sheridan) is one of a handful of top-flight players searching for an “Easter egg” hidden by the game’s late creator as a means of identifying a worthy heir to his virtual empire. The script, co-written by the novel’s author Ernest Cline, is bogged down by clunky exposition, while the hyperactive final act really outstays its welcome. But Spielberg delivers a handful of flat-out dazzling action set pieces, including one that literally takes place inside Kubrick’s The Shining

Ready Player One | Directed by Steven Spielberg (US 2018) with Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke. Starts April 5

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