(2018) (Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Sci-Fi/Action: Various people and their avatar counterparts attempt to find the Easter egg left somewhere in the expanses of the virtual world in which all of them spend most of their time.
- It's the year 2045 and Wade Watts (TYE SHERIDAN) is an orphaned 18-year-old who lives with his aunt in Columbus, Ohio in her vertically aligned trailer park. Like most everyone else in the world who's given up on problem-solving and simply want to escape, Wade spends most his time as his virtual reality alter-ego, Parzival, in the Oasis. Created long ago by James Halliday (MARK RYLANCE) and his business partner, Ogden Morrow (SIMON PEGG), the Oasis is a place where anyone can be anyone or anything they want, and the place is teaming with pop culture icons and references going back through the decades.
Since Halliday's death five years ago, VR gamers known as "gunters" such as Parzival and his VR friends Aech (LENA WAITHE), Sho (PHILIP ZHAO), and Daito (WIN MORISAKI) have been searching for the eccentric developer's "Easter egg" that he hid somewhere in the vast expanses of the Oasis. With a prize worth half a trillion dollars and sole control of the Oasis to whoever finds the egg, everyone has been searching but no one has come close to finding the first of three keys that will lead to that egg. That includes IOI CEO Nathan Sorrento (BEN MENDELSOHN) who's employed an array of people to find the keys, including VR gamers known as "sixers." But the one person Parzival is most interested in is Art3mis (OLIVIA COOKE), a confident and strong-willed young woman who initially sees Parzival as a rival for the egg, but eventually comes to know him as her friend.
When Parzival manages to find the first key, that draws the interest of Sorrento who employs agents both in the real world -- such as the steely goon, F'Nale Zandor (HANNAH JOHN-KAMEN) -- and virtual world, namely in the form of the menacing and heavily armed I-Rok (T.J. MILLER) -- to find Parzival and his real-world alter-ego so that he can get his hands on that egg and control the Oasis. But Parzival and his friends don't want that to happen and thus do what they can to undermine the corporate villain while searching for the two last keys that will lead them to the egg.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- They probably will if they're fans of the book on which it's based, anyone who's in the cast, or films by director Steven Spielberg.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language.
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