Spielburg's at it again! Delivering classics. It's like he's figured out the formula somehow, and now at 71 y/o... his scripts are still pretty youthful. I'm impressed/surprised/happy.
I watched this one at the movies, in the biggest room the theater had to offer, and I'm glad I did because it's definitely one of those movies you want to watch on that kind of screen! The special effects were awesome, and as it's a mesh of reality and an alternative reality there are plenty of those. In both worlds, but mainly the animated one.
The story is this: In the year 2045 the world is becoming a bit of a dystopia, with overpopulation and famine, and people do their best to escape however they can. A virtual reality world by the name of OASIS is created, and everybody flocks there. It's a place where you can do anything, and the introduction showcasing this world really presents it in an amazing way. If there was a world like that... I don't know if I could avoid it. You relate.
Time goes, and eventually the founder of this alternate reality dies, but as his last will and testament he leaves... an Easter Egg. Whoever can finds it will inherit the game, the company, and the billions that go with it.
Enter Parzival, a modern day Marty McFly, who in reality lives in the slum, but pretty much lives his life there within OASIS, trying to figure out a way to get that egg. Enter his friends too, and enter The Sixers - nameless and numbered employees of a vicious organization attempting to get the egg as a means to gain control of the company and expand their profits.
It's been years since the egg was first announced, and yet nobody's managed to reach it, until we jump into the story the one day Parzival gets an idea... and his world is turned upside down. He's a rebel. Or more like... a hero? No maybe actually more like a gamer. Maybe it's all the same thing.
All of this is introduced perfectly, in a way I imagine even those with basically no computer knowledge could understand (though probably not appreciate as much). The real and animated worlds alternate, and sometimes merge, and either one is equally detailed. The red line is always there, as is the adventure, and it's a blast from start to finish.
Of course some things are a bit predictable, like the romance, or the real-world consequences, or the ending, but... they work it out in the best possible way, and even though the setting is often tense and moody, and mighty, it's never too far from comedy either. It all intertwines.
But the best parts are the details. The avatars look a bit like Avatars - and there are lots of subtle throwbacks like that. The popular culture references are just off the charts too. Eighties references, as it's the era the founder grew up in, and thus the one that might hold clues to the egg. It's an era I love too, so I love those references! Everything from the soundtrack to the DeLorean to... well, basically everything else. Props on the planetary homage to DOOM, too.
The OASIS world feels relevant in today's world too. In many ways this seems like the future we are heading towards now... though hopefully it won't ever go this far. Even at the end people don't voluntarily throw down their goggles, but it does end with a message, on how reality is the only thing that's really real. Well done.
Maybe in a few years we'll look back at this and say some of the motions and mechanics of animation are way too fake (something that did strike me now) but then again... it's just a game. Will they really grow old and out of date? Will game worlds evolve to the point that our perception of this game world seems as outdated as the Adventure played within? It seems unlikely but... you never know. Game worlds today are in many ways looking realer than this one, though I feel there's a purpose with this particular distinction. They're making a point: it's just a game.
Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke play the main main characters, but there's a few more. Some are just voices; some are full-fledged real-world representations too, but all fit their roles just perfectly.
Btw, this movie's based on a book. Supposedly it's even better.
rated 5/5: friggin awesome