Bullet Review: Ready Player One (SPOILERS)


Let me start off by saying that Ready Player One is my all time favourite book, and when I say all time, I mean ALL TIME FAVOURITE BOOK! I've read it a total of 3 times now (which to some is nothing, but to me is everything), and I swear, each time I reread it I get just as excited as the first time around.

Due to the fact that as I may have mentioned, this is my favourite book (of all time), I was extremely nervous and apprehensive when they first announced that this epic of a book was going to be made into a film. I'm funny when it comes to book to movie adaptations, but I've learnt to accept that some books do need changes for the adaptation to work well in cinema. Saying that, I wasn't happy with the trailer in the slightest, as I could tell instantly that it was very different from the book, and that's normally where I have a problem.

Let's give the blurb of the book before we begin on the full review:

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. 
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS - and his massive fortune - will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation. 
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions - and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.
I liked the bullet review style that I did for The Fifth Season so I'm gonna try and emulate that into film too, so let's see how this goes. Oh, and if you didn't already see from the title, there's gonna be SPOILERS in here because I love this book so much that I just can't refrain from explaining everything!
WHAT I LIKEDMark Rylance is absolutely superb playing OASIS founder James Halliday; his mannerisms, the way he stuttered and was hesitant when he talked, and his almost shy demeanour. He was the perfect match for the socially inept, hermit genius that was James Halliday.
You got more of a backstory with the film than you did with the book. Granted, in the book, you found out everything about James Halliday, Ogden Morrow (his best friend and co-founder) and the ups and downs of their relationship before they split ways, but the film really dug that little bit deeper into the more personal side of things, with snippets of conversation of the two of them before the OASIS. It was refreshing to see another side of the book.
• On that note, I loved the fact that minor characters in the book were filled out more in the movie. In the novel, I-R0k is an annoying tag along that likes to think he's all that, but in the movie he's been given more of a pivotal role which definitely could have been possible, as you didn't see all too much of him in the books. In the movie he is IOI's (Innovative Online Industries - aka the bad guys that wanna take over the OASIS and make money from it) head honcho Nolan Sorrento's lacky, but he's also a bit of comedic relief (maybe a little too much for my tastes).
The riddles and challenges were different to the book. Woah, wait a second, before you burn me at the stake for actually liking this, please let me explain. Making the challenges and riddles different from the book makes it exciting for old readers to enjoy, because we don't know the answers or how to solve anything until the characters do - it almost lets us get involved to a certain extent. Although, I didn't like the fact that most of the riddles were sappy James Halliday feeling sorry for how he did, or didn't spend his life before he died.
• I think it helped that I'd literally finished my third reread of the book the morning before I went to see the movie, but there were enough book references and lines that I found myself smiling throughout the majority of the movie at how similar it was to the book itself. Don't forget I said similar, not the same....similar, it's a key word.
WHAT I DISLIKEDArt3mis was annoying af. I quite liked her, and the build up of her character in the book, but in the movie, I down right hated her and found her extremely annoying. She was probably the worst part of the movie for me! I know they can't cut her out because she's a main character, but I feel that without her, the movie would have been a lot better. She was actually better as a voice actor for her avatar than she was in real life #sorrynotsorry.
• I hate this in books and I also hate it in movies, but pointless romance has NEVER been my thing. The whole book was set over the span of about a year maybe? This movie must have been set over around 48 hours, and yet suddenly Parzival (Wade Watts) is suddenly in love with someone that he met for 5 minutes and has cyber stalked for longer. PLUS, it's all on an online game! They had zero chemistry, and they were just always so wooden around each other (maybe that was just the acting?) that it was most definitely not believable in the slightest.
• I have to admit that I read this somewhere before I went to see the film, but I 100% agree with it - the film is focussed more on the action than it is on the development of the characters. I didn't feel anything for any of the characters, and I honestly don't think I would have shed a single tear if any of them had died in the real world. You didn't get to know them or what they were about, it was all surface level and quite disappointing. Yeah, I get that it's an "action based sci-fi movie" but that doesn't mean you can't have relatable characters.
• Ready Player One is heavily, HEAVILY revolved around 80s culture, and other than all the references in the background of the movie, there was very little reference to the 80s in the plot, which was disappointing. I discussed liking the challenges being different and exciting, but every single challenge in the book was 80s related, whether that be from movies to music to video games, and I think only one reference of playing a video game was shown in the entire film. Yeah yeah, I get that you can't show a character playing pacman for hours on end to get the highest possible score, but at least show some kind of reference.
• I didn't like the fact that the characters were friends and met so soon after the challenge began - these were probably my least favourite scenes in the film and they just weren't explained thoroughly enough. I totally understand that they can't show Wade being a social recluse for the entire film in his own flat and that they needed to be together sooner, but NOTHING WAS EXPLAINED! How did Ar3mis find Wade? Who was the bald guy with the tattoo (like literally he disappeared after a while)? How come they all lived so damn close to each other? What was this rebellion? It started off with a company, and ended up with the five of them? Every single other person couldn't have been captured. Also, and this bugged me, Daito and Sho (No idea why his name was changed from Shoto, it's two bloody letters) weren't even friends with the others in the book - the two brothers just put up with the others to a certain extent.
FINAL THOUGHTS I'm torn, so freaking torn! I came out of the cinema thinking that they did a pretty good job of the book to movie adaptation, but as I've had time to process everything I've realised I don't think I like it as much as I thought I did - I think I got caught up in the moment. There's positives and negatives to every aspect that I wrote about and I think I need to see it again. I don't think it helps that this is my favourite book ever ever EVER, but I don't think I have a solid answer as to whether I did or didn't like this film. The book's AMAZING though, so definitely give that a read as soon as you can: Kindle US/Kindle UK

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