I adored the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, so I have been eagerly looking forward to the adaptation of the movie. But books are always better than the movies and this continued to be the case, although the movie was solid. There were some significant changes between the movie and book and usually I would be in an uproar about this, but the author co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation, and thus he himself tweaked some scenes to better fit an action movie. These changes worked, and gave it a better narrative flow.
**In tribute to the premise of the book and movie, I will be sending you on Easter Egg hunts. Follow my links to find other awesome bloggers out there who have a connection to the Ready Player One movie and the word I hyperlink it to. Enjoy their blogs!**
We first meet Wade Watts aka Parzival in 2044 living in a trailer park wasteland. Much of society is in shambles, but people can escape from their mundane lives by entering the Oasis, an online massive multiplayer simulation game. The founder James Holloway has died, and he has created a hunt for control of the game and it’s profits, and players need to embark on a journey to find three keys, each that would unlock puzzles or a riddle with a clue to the location of the next key. Wade is an expert on 80’s nostalgia, as Holloway based the quests off the games of his youth.
The first key was obtained by participating in a huge car race. Right away this is a major change, but much better suited to film than the original fun (but long and drawn out) scene from the book. We begin to truly see pop culture references here, with vehicles and characters you will recognize from other franchises. Director Steven Spielberg refrains from referencing too many of his own previous film’s but we still see a DeLorean car, King Kong and a T-Rex. We also eventually spot Batman, the robot Gundam, the Iron Giant, and Chucky in future scenes. Unfortunately, licensing prevents some classics such as Star Wars or the Avengers heroes from being used.
For the second key, Parzival had to reenact word by word the movie WarGames, but this this movie switches up the film he needs to immerse himself in. This new film was actually a nice surprise. If it was going to go off-script from the book, why not give the viewers a chance to experience an iconic horror movie and some key scenes that will give you the chills.
As an evil corporation honcho tries to win at all costs and has endless money and workers at his disposal to win the game. Parzival is helped greatly by a fellow online avatar Art3mis, who is established as a love interest early on, and his best friend Aech. Yet another change is that the movie shuffles some timelines with Art3mis and other online friends, before they arrive at the final gate. An epic showdown occurs, and (come on, this is no surprise) Parzival wins the game and the girl!
All in all, this was a fun movie and I look forward to watching it again on DVD so I truly can catch all the shout-outs from movies, music and tv that was embedded in scenes. However….this was no blockbuster and it really didn’t do the book justice. If I were watching it with no preconceived notions, I would have enjoyed it even more. Yet on the other hand, the movie was strong enough and made some interesting cinematic choices that let me enjoy it even as it diverged greatly from it’s source material. My advice is to read the book if you truly want the grand adventure!