Ready Player One Review: 7 Ups And 3 Downs


7. The Cast Is Excellent

Ready Player One Art3mis
Warner Bros.

Ready Player One has a great mix of upcoming talent and acting vets, and as you'd expect Spielberg gets the best out of almost all of them. Tye Sheridan, who didn't really convince in the last blockbuster he was in, proves to be a very good leading man here as Wade/Parzival, an Easter egg hunter (known as 'Gunters' here) and the hero of the piece. Like with a lot of Chosen One-esque narratives, Wade's not the most charismatic guy, but instead gets to play the role with a mix of wonder, determination, and eventually goodness that shines through.

His closest supporting cast get a bit more to do: Olivia Cooke's avatar Art3emis maybe veers a little too closely to the manic pixie dream girl trope, but Cooke does a good job of not only making her the coolest of the kids in the OASIS, but adding some layers of tragedy to her story. Newcomers Philip Zhao and Win Morisaki, meanwhile, are clearly having a blast here as Sho and Daito, and they bring a lot of fun, energy, and endless charm to proceedings, especially outside the OASIS (where it's most needed). Lena Waithe gets a lot of the best lines as Aech, and her comic chops are on full display.

Outside of that group, two of the best performances fall to Simon Pegg and more so Mark Rylance. Pegg becomes more important to the story as things go on and gives the sort of likeable performance we've come to expect but, yet again in a Spielberg movie, it's Rylance who really shines. As OASIS founder James Halliday he moves through the movie from a Steve Jobs-like creator to a frail old man, and the performance adds a lot of poignancy to the movie. If there were any doubt, this confirms that Rylance should be in every Spielberg film now.


NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.