- Gist: In a softly dystopic 2045 America, teen Wade Watts and friends try to win a game-contest left by the deceased creator of The Oasis, a massive virtual universe and the earth’s most lucrative property, to determine who would control it after he was gone.
- Visual SFX: Spectacular! Best creation of a virtual world yet. CGI looks right when it’s supposed to be CGI; I think all real-world effects were practical FX, sharpening the contrast. Janusz Kaminski for President!
- Evil Megacorps: 1
- Ben Mendelsohns: Every Evil Megacorp needs a perfect Manically Evil MegaBoss.
- “I know that voice!” moments: 3
- Source material: Delightful book by the same name, not at all ruined by seeing movie first. A must for every ’80’s nerd-pop culture lover!
- Regrettable omissions from book: 5? A director has to clip and change a book to make a good movie, and Spielberg knows how, with apology to J.K. Rowling. Still, I miss the educative gaming, the detail of the riddles, and some specific ’80’s nods. **But those are reasons for everyone to read the book, too!
- Bittersweet takes on the relationship of game-makers to game-lovers: Enough. Like any artist/fan relationship, it’s Complicated.
Conclusion: See it.