I read the book a couple of months ago simply because this movie was creeping around the corner and I wanted to read it before I watched it. I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive when going into to this movie because it's a difficult book to get right- the blend between reality and video game, all the small details and references building to make an intricate plot, and I was just worried they wouldn't do it justice.
I'd give the movie a 7/10 when considering it by itself by, when comparing it to the book and how faithful it was, I'd give it a 4/10. So, if you're really loyal to the book, maybe take the movie with a pinch of salt.
I will say I did it enjoy it a lot- it was funny and exciting- but it sometimes felt like the writers were so preoccupied with shoving in as many movie and gaming references as possible that they forgot to develop the plot completely. There were a lot of unexplained actions and they left a lot of loose ends which annoyed me a little.
Overall, a good movie but just not as good as the book (no surprises there, huh?).
Ready Player One Book Talk
SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
We'll start with the reasons why it wasn't very faithful to the book. For starters, I don't think they dealt with the keys and the gates well. I was lost half the time on whether they were looking for a key or a gate, which key or gate they'd got to and it was basically all over the place for me. I also didn't like the clues and hints that led them to each key. In the book, the clues are so well thought out and take a lot of work to figure out. In the movie, they were all a little too obvious and were solved so damn quickly. It almost felt like they read the clue once and, before I could even process what it said, they'd figured it out. It lessened the difficulty of the whole contest, I think.
The other thing extremely different to the book and something I wasn't happy with at all was how Wade and Art3mis met. In the book, I love how they only meet IRL at the very end but, in the movie, it's not even half way through! Art3mis goes on about welcoming him to the revolution and... we hear nothing of a revolution after that. It wasn't explained, followed through or anything! They simply shoved it in there so, in the trailer, the movie could look cooler because they have a 'revolution'- like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner and any other YA or fantasy book and movie! Revolutions and rebellions are the rage these days.
Anyway, onto the actual movie.
I liked Wade's avatar- his was definitely the coolest- but I didn't like Art3mis' or Aech's as much. Aech's was completely different to how I imagined it in the book and Art3mis looked too much like that red fish in Shark Tale... I just couldn't get that imagine out of my head.
The first task was the race and, while it was cool and fun to watch visually, there wasn't much thought put behind it. The clue of going backwards was also very obvious and unrealistic that it had taken years for someone to figure it out.
Wade's also given the quarter that ends up saving his life pretty soon and he didn't really earn it or anything- a disguised Ogden Morrow just gave it to him.
And then... the rest of the movie was a blur of finding the keys and then the gates. Honestly, this whole section was fun but went way too fast- I kept getting lost on whether they were looking for a key or a gate and they seemed to get through all the clues all too quick. The hints and clues were poor and lazy- they weren't as planned out and clever as they were in the book and they weren't fully explained. One second, our characters were retrieving the next clue and suddenly, within seconds, they had the answer and I was left with no idea of what just happened!! This whole competition wasn't supposed to be that easy!
We had the dance club scene which was also in the book and I did really like this whole sequence. The dancing was cool- if a little randomly placed- and it brought some great new music because the soundtrack for this movie was awesome. However, I did cringe like crazy when Wade told Art3mis he loved her... he'd only just met her and barely knew her!! How can he love her already?!?! Admittedly, this happened in the book as well so it wasn't completely the movie's fault but it was still way too insta-lovey.
After stupidly revealing who he was, Wade's home got blown up by the IOI which was very faithful to the book and therefore fun to watch. What I didn't like was Art3mis being in some type of revolution (again, not fully developed or explained) and her meeting Wade so soon.
They gave Art3mis a birthmark to make her "unattractive" so that she has real and deep reasons for being insecure about meeting in real life but... it's like the producers were conflicted between having a true and complex character or a hot love interest (because every movie needs a hot love interest). The birthmark she had was so small and barely noticeable- she was beautiful!!! What I loved about the book was that the characters were average- even bordering unattractive- but the Oasis had allowed them to fall in love with personalities instead of looks. But because unattractive actors are few and far between and don't look good for promotion movie posters, they reduced the love story to a teenage lust growing into something more eventually.
The 'revolution' gets infiltrated by the IOI and Art3mis is taken, later using her inside access to help take down the IOI. This was interesting because, in the book, Wade is the one to work from the inside, but I'll admit, I quite liked her role in this.
Wade meets up with the others IRL which... didn't have the same impact it did in the book. We found out Aech was actually Helen but she wasn't really a fleshed out character like she was in the book. And I can't even remember the other two names... but the eleven year old kid was funny and cute.
The IOI had a force field around the building containing the final gate and egg (though, how everyone figured that out from the hint wasn't explained...) and Wade enlists an army to fight the IOI while Art3mis helps from the inside, using Nolan Sorrento's equipment- because someone who's smart enough to be the head of the IOI, leaves his password on a post-it note in plain sight... *face palm*
I did love the final fight scenes. The music was incredible and it was so much fun to watch! The IOI bring out the Catalyst which kills everyone apart from Wade and, from here, the plot is virtually exactly what happened in the book which was good.
Wade finds the egg and speaks to Halliday, being introduced to a button that can shut down the whole of the Oasis. What I did find strange and unexplained (yet again..) was Halliday. He said that he was neither an avatar or alive so... another loose end the writers couldn't be bothered to explain, then? Because that's all that springs to my mind.
With Wade and the High Five in charge of the Oasis now, they decide to close it on Tuesdays and Thursdays and... how did they do that? The big red button shuts off Oasis forever and wipes all the data so how does Wade and Art3mis manage to shut it off temporarily? Was there a tiny temporary button that I didn't notice?!?
And then the ending.... which was probably supposed to be sweet and everything but, at this point, I was too cynical and nit-picky to take with a pinch of salt.
The last shot is so stupid- it's just Wade and Artie kissing. We don't get to see them go outside and help the world, share their riches with poor people or generally make the world better... No. We see them kissing because they just have to be the horny teenagers society expects.
And the 'philosophical' last quote is also stupid.
"Reality is better because it's real..." (and evidently, because you can get laid).
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts, Stay amazing!