In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spend their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone—the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the OASIS to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends—known as the High Five—are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS and their world.
In the spirit of full disclosure let me say this. I grew up as a teenager in the 1980's. I am an avid video gamer and I love Steven Spielberg movies. With that said let's dive into RPO. First let me say that visually RPO is top notch. The Oasis, a virtual world in the movie where anything can happen, is rendered beautifully as well as the characters that inhabit that world. There are several changes from the book to the movie which make it even more watchable and enjoyable as a viewer.
Spielberg is completely on form here and he takes a source material that is very niche and gives us a film that is palatable to a mass audience. RPO is a prime example of why we still need Spielberg desperately in today's Hollywood.
RPO, though, is not without its problems. The love interest seems forced and there is no chemistry between the lead actors. The lead character Wade/Parzival is uninteresting to say the least even though I think that is because of the source material and not the efforts of Tye Sheridan (Mud, X-Men). Olivia Cooke's portrayal of Art3mis/Samantha is definitely the standout role as she brings the most life to the cast of characters.
RPO is a fun fantastic sci-Fi ride that knows how to kick the spring blockbuster season off right!
3 out of 5 stars