I finally got to see Ready Player One. My journey to it seemed rougher than Wade’s quest to get the three keys and save the Oasis. My journey was full of scheduling conflicts and troubles with getting tickets (namely my coupon being declared expired even though it clearly states it expires April 18, 2018). And there were a lot of phone battles while trying to straighten everything out, including being told they would contact me in 24 hours–*cut to me still waiting 25 hours later.*
But, like Wade, I was triumphant. Sadly, I didn’t get the girl or become a part owner in a trillion dollar company.
However, once the lights dimmed and after the one movie trailer aired (so glad I made it to the movie on time), I was able to relax and enjoy the movie.
The best part of the movie was, no surprise here, the Easter Eggs. Just about every pop culture reference you could think of was in the movie at some point. I felt sorry for those that were keeping track, such as IGN, who found about 138 eggs (too bad they weren’t candy ones).
My only problem with the eggs is that most went by too fast or they seemed blurry. I don’t know if this was because of copyright issues or style or just the filmmakers being in a hurry.
I did like how they added some modern pop culture, such as Overwatch and Hello Kitty. It wasn’t all 1980s references that younger people wouldn’t get. Even when mentioning 80s culture, the filmmakers did a good job of choosing ones that everyone would know about. There were still some lesser known ones but they either hid them or explained them–I didn’t feel like I was lost in a sea of pop culture references that only gamers or comic book geeks would understand.
What about the book, you might ask? Where there changes?
The answer is yes.
One change is that Wade didn’t seem as cynical as he was in the book. Also, his aunt was nicer, not loving-homemaker nice, but “better.” The movie was also less post-apocalyptic, depressing world and a bit more…friendly. A character who died in the book does not in the movie. In fact, there seemed to be a lot less deaths…correction, real deaths–there were plenty of virtual deaths (or “Zeroing Out”).
In the book, when the Stacks are attacked, it seemed more destructive, with more people dying. In the movie, it was less destructive. You can see this as a negative or a positive as you wish. I found it to be a positive.
Another, I found, positive change is that Wade “clans up” faster in the movie. In the book, it was close to the end before he really joins the others. While they are friends, they still are in competition. In the movie, the Hi-Five seems to form sooner, though Wade doesn’t really make it “official” until the end.
The movie definitely was geared to a “younger” audience (like teenagers) while the book seemed more targeted for older teens or adults.
At first, I was hesitant about the changes but as the movie progressed, I found I enjoyed them. I still like the book, but I also like the movie. Instead of feeling like I was just watching the book in movie format, I felt like I was getting to go on another adventure with Wade while at the same time fulfilling that want for a movie adaptation. The movie followed the book, but not so much that I felt bored waiting for the best scenes to happen or felt like I knew the ending before the movie began.
I do have to say that I felt the plot was a bit fast. It seemed like within seconds they’d found all the keys. It was kind of like it took five years for the first key to be found and five minutes for the rest. And Wade’s evolution from wanting to win the contest for the money to wanting to stop IOI seemed quick too.
But, I have to agree with others who say Ready Player One is like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory but with pop culture candy and a scoop of childhood memory ice cream.
Overall, I’m going to have to see it again. And looking forward to doing so. I have to give it a 4.8 out of 5–mainly because some of the camo characters looked blurry, otherwise it was a nice, fun action movie that made you feel like you were on an enjoyable ride filled with your wildest dreams instead of running for your life.
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