Ready Player One

Director: Steven Spielberg
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 1.0

In another Ruined Earth Scenario, in which this planet looks like a filthy trailer park, people 'escape' reality by playing a game called "OASIS," created by awkward genius Halliday (Mark Rylance) - when Halliday passes away, a prerecorded video of him indicates there are several 'Easter Eggs' in his elaborate creation that would grant its discoverer riches (stock in his company), so motherless Wade (Tye Sheridan) and love interest Samantha (Olivia Cooke) attempt to solve the riddles and fight off corporate crony Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn). Spielberg, who has, at times, looked like the greatest filmmaker working, once again dips back into kid-friendly/cornball mode, lathering the screen with oodles of pop references (even to pals Robert Zemeckis and the late John Hughes) and neglecting to make protagonist Wade a well-formed character worth pulling for - from a design standpoint, it's loaded with neat little details, but all it amounts to, in the end, is a once-great auteur lowering himself to direct a glorified Final Fantasy movie. Or maybe he did it because he was a part of the decade novelist Ernest Cline loves so much (the 1980's) and wanted to pay homage to former collaborator Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, with the addition of zombies (by far its most creative section).