|Copyright – Steven Spielberg|
Ready Player One is a story about a young boy named Wade Watts and his search for an easter egg in a worldwide virtual reality game called the OASIS. Whoever discovers the easter egg, wins the game creator’s fortune and control over the OASIS.
When I first learned that Ready Player One was going to be a movie I cheered, and then I panicked. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is one of my top 10 favorite books, mainly because it is an ode to all things nerdy and geeky.
After the first trailer was released a few months back, I saw there were going to be changes, and I was scared. However, it did not stop me from watching it on it’s release date.
The movie does a pretty swell job of keeping the general feel and gist of the book and its story. It is an ode to geekdom and all things nerdy – this being said…if you are not well versed in video games, comics, old cult movies or anything of that sort…you might be lost and might not enjoy the movie. Mostly because all the references will be lost to you (the same goes for the book).
The movie was modernized in its geekdom – featuring games from the 2000s such as Overwatch. This was one of its major changes, and I was okay with it, because it had to appeal to a large modern audience.
Overall I enjoyed the movie and liked catching all the references (even if I am pretty sure I did not catch them all).
Recently, this story has received a lot of backlash for being unrealistic or not being great literature or having shitty female characters or bad diversity or whatever – I feel that the movie did the book justice (even with the changes that I will go into later on). It told the story of a teenage boy (probably 17 – 20), who believes the Oasis is all that matters and that is why he wants to protect it, only to learn that there is more to life than living in that virtual reality. While fighting an evil corporation who wants to ruin the OASIS for everyone else (because greedy companies want to profit off free things, like always).
And the female character I saw people complain about in the book for being poorly written, actually was given a major plot point in the movie that was originally part of Wade’s arc. She also had a bigger role in the film other than being Wade’s love interest. That was pretty rad.
Now to the real book vs movie comparison. So if you have not read or seen Ready Player One…BEWARE OF SPOILERS THAT ARE COMING.
First major change is that we don’t know Wade’s age and we don’t know if he is in school. In the book he is stuck on the planet where all the schools are present and kids receive their education. This was important because Wade is poor, and could not afford paying the teleportation fee to go to various parts of the same planet let alone other planets. By being stuck in this planet he was able to figure out the first clue and find the first dungeon in the school planet. The dungeon was from the first edition Dungeons & Dragons.
The first two challenges were completely different book to movie, not a big deal. I guess racing and being in a horror movie is more exciting for the audience rather than going through a dungeon and playing an arcade game.
Another major change was how Wade got the extra life coin – which saved him when the big baddy decided to destroy the whole planet and zero everyone out. In the book, Wade completes a Pacman game with a perfect score (thinking it is the second clue) only to receive a quarter. In the movie it is given to him by a mechanical butler when Wade outsmarts it. (My brother told me that no one would want to watch anyone try to get a perfect score in Pacman…which is a fair point)
Also, the High Five (Parzival, Aech, Art3mis, Daito and Shoto) all lived in Columbus, Ohio rather than across the world. Which was convenient for the story I suppose. Daito never got murdered by the IOI which is great because he is pretty great during his on screen time. Also in the movie, Shoto is an 11-year-old Chinese boy – which was the cutest thing ever.
There were other changes done in the movie such as meeting Og Morrow at the very end after they won the game, but honestly that wasn’t a big deal…since they all lived in Columbus, Ohio and didn’t need any private jets to be united.
Even with all the changes, I was not angry or upset. I really enjoyed the movie and accepted the changes (unlike the Percy Jackson movies). It was visually pleasing movie celebrating all the things my dad, my brother, and I enjoy. It was a massive mash up done in a creative way – kinda like Who Framed Rodger Rabbit.
If you are well versed in video games, comics, cult movies or anything of that sort I think you’d enjoy the movie (and the book – even though it is more 70s oriented ). If you are not…well you probably won’t enjoy it as much.
And if you are looking for something similar to Ready Player One (at least in book form) I recommend Warcross by Marie Lu.