Ready Player One: Steven Spielberg demonstrates that he is still perfectly able to deliver a spectacle such as this blockbuster, a wholesome, entertaining adventure that has a simple story but engaging characters and great visuals. A big part of the fun is trying not to drown in the sea of pop-culture references, which ranges from film to music, from comic books to video games; nevertheless, the plot, straightforward as it may be, is more than enough by itself. There may be some excessive exposition in the dialogue and voice-overs at times, but the rules for two different worlds must be explained, after all. The characters are spot on, even if they don’t develop much during the course of the story: the protagonist may be a bright-eyed, smart boy, but there are plenty of strong female characters as well; the main villain is appropriately one-minded about his goals and doesn’t care how to achieve them. Ben Mendelsohn was a fine choice to play said villain; Tye Sheridan, likewise, has the right look and attitude as the hero; Olivia Cooke projects strength and cuteness; and Mark Rylance is very good as the bumbling, awkward genius at the center of the maze. Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski captures well the broken, ugly real world (Adam Stockhausen’s production design makes sure of that, and creates a fine-looking virtual world as well). The virtual world characters all respect the design logic of video games, and all are very distinctive and recognizable.