Ready Player One – A Gamer’s Movie

This is my first movie review. I will do my best to avoid spoilers and will keep the mention of plot points vague or undetailed. Enjoy!

Normally a movie review wouldn’t fall under the category ‘All things PlayStation’ but as you’ll see, this movie is all about gaming and virtual reality. I felt like I needed to review it.

Plot Synopsis: Our protagonist Wade Wilson lives in a near future where the real world has collapse economically and everyone spends there time living inside a virtual world called ‘The Oasis’. The creator of the game (Halliday) has past away but before he died, he hid three keys which will lead to an Easter Egg inside the game. Whoever completes the challenges and collects the keys and egg will win total control over the oasis and be rich beyond their wildest dreams.

The Book – The movie is based off Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name. I was lucky enough to read this a few years ago and have been looking forward to seeing it adapted to the big screen. It’s a book that after reading, I thought was absolutely amazing but I also thought it could never be made into a movie. A game perhaps but definitely not a movie. Then Spielberg signed on and I realized quickly that this was definitely happening.

Differences Book to Movie – Again as mentioned above, I don’t want to go into spoilers. The differences between the book and the movie are plentiful. If the plot points of the book are precious to you, then this movie might actually upset you. It retains the basic story and characters and even the tone and feelings from the book but changes a lot of the plot points and challenges. Me personally, I didn’t mind the changes bar one or two as I knew when reading it that some things could never be made into a workable movie. The challenges in the book simply wouldn’t work in a film and would cause huge passing issues. However there are a couple of changes that annoyed me :

Issues – From my reading of the book, Ogg was a vital character and played a more prominent role. He has much less to do in the movie and is barely in it. I hope at some point there’s a directors cut edition where Simon Pegg’s character gets more scenes. (Although it’s clear that some things from the book won’t make it in as they certain plot points)

Second (and last) main difference that I didn’t enjoy was Wade’s avatar Parsizal himself or to put a finer point on it, his lack of humble beginnings. In the movie he is introduced as plucky and poor whereas the book spends a long time showing how restrictive having no money can be in the game and how our hero’s character arc really grows from a very modest start which makes him a more likable hero.

The Good – I’ve listed above some areas where I feel the movie fell short. However, this is in no way a bad movie. In fact, this movie is a joy 5o watch from start to finish. Crammed with enough pop culture references to make your head spin. At a certain point you sit back and let them wash over you as you smile at the spectacles on screen. Definitely a movie that people will pause frame by frame when released on dvd to spot every iconic character on display.

It’s clear from start to finish that Spielberg is having fun with this movie. One for the big screen and for all the family. It’s pacing is blisteringly fast and action sequences are exciting and visually stunning. One particular scene (the second challenge) is absolutely amazing and I doubt a smaller director would even dare tackle the content on display. (If you haven’t already had this scene spoiled for you, the movie is worth seeing just for this scene alone!)

I loved this movie! I haven’t even mentioned the glorious over the top Ben Mendelssohn as the epithomy of corporate evil or the glorious cg that is truly breathtaking throughout the movie. As a gamer and a child from the 80’s, this film appeals directly to me. There were so many scenes and split seconds nods to pop culture that made me smile and the overall feel of the movie was just fun and it entertained me from start to finish. Spielberg has gone back to his roots with this feel good family adventure and I couldn’t be happier!

 

So what did you think of the movie? Is it fun for everyone or just gamers? Do you think a sequel is on the cards? Did it ruin or make good on the book?

Let me know your thoughts below

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