Brought to the big screen by none other than Steven Spielberg himself, Ready Player One is adapted from the novel of the same name by author Ernest Cline.
As a film in its own right, Ready Player One is an enjoyable ride as any blockbuster on the market. Chock-full of Easter eggs and a pop culture reference for every generation. It has a little something that everyone will enjoy.
A quick synopsis of the book, for those who don’t know;
In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS.
Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize.
The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
Real life split with the virtual world, Ready Player One is full of CGI, and I’m sure the argument could be made that there is perhaps too much at times. I found that it never truly overloads you, knowing you’re experiencing a virtual world, that this is wholly the plot. It also means it doesn’t have to be truly realistic, giving a freedom to experiment and entertain the audience.
As a fan of the book however (although I do admit it has its flaws in its own right), I do have a few gripes with the adaptation. Of course, as with any adaptation, whether to the big screen or the small screen, changes have to be made, it’s incredibly difficult to please both the lovers of the original format, and your average movie-goer.
I do feel it sacrificed some of the main story arc with the changes, it happened so that a lot of the plot that was built up to in the book, which when executed in the film, didn’t have the intended impact on the audience as we weren’t very invested. I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to spoil either the book or the film, so apologies if that was a tad too cryptic, but if you do ever read and watch it, you’ll understand!
On the plus side, in my opinion they did an excellent job in the casting; Tye Sheridan played a great lead of the back of his appearance as Cyclops in the new X-Men movies, and did a great job pushing the movie forward. Olivia Cooke, did well with the material she was given – though she was a main love interest and that showed in both media platorms, she was sadly not given the depth of character that Olivia Cooke deserves, nor her character counterpoint, Art3mis, deserved.
And although I understand changing the game levels so that they are more appealing to the general audience, I just didn’t enjoy them. And that’s a personal feeling, others may have entirely enjoyed these changes. Especially a younger audience, as a lot of the changes felt as though they had mass appeal in mind, rather than the 80’s niche that the book was. However it definitely took away that feeling of nostaglia that the book created – even within me and I never got to experience the 80’s.
“That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.”
Despite these gripes however, I did enjoy the film overall, it was entertaining and I had a fun time watching it. Which really, is what it’s all about!
It’s definitely pleasing to watch, the CGI is impressive and every time you recognise an Easter egg you feel a weird sense of nostalgic nerd pride.
It’s an easy-to watch film from one of the great filmmakers of our time. It’s definitely worth a try.