I saw Steven Spielberg’s take on Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One the other day, and following that I have seen a lot of complaints about it being different from the book. I’ve often said that directors and writers need to change details for movie adaptations because otherwise, it’s predictable and not surprising or exciting for anyone who’s read the source material. Ready Player One ESPECIALLY can’t be a direct translation of the book because it would just be too boring.
No, I’m not calling the book boring; the book and the story are wonderfully awesome, even if I doubt that Wade could have accomplished reading, playing, watching, and listening to everything he claims he has.
What I am getting at is that in the book, there is a lot of game playing. I want you to think about the competition for the first key in the movie, then think about watching a true-to-the-book rendition of the first key. Perhaps this clip from The Big Bang Theory will help you visualize;
So, with that addressed, here is my opinion of Ready Player One:
It was pretty gosh darn good.
I felt the acting in the beginning ‘reality’ scenes were a little cringey and eye-roll worthy, but it suited the scene and I was probably just not in the right mood for it. I also felt that the development of the relationship was very rushed… in fact, a lot of the movie seemed rushed.
While the movie kept the aspect of the riddles, it didn’t feel like there was much of a mystery behind them. I get the feeling that the entire movie takes place across the span of a few days, maybe? While the book takes significantly longer. The clues and the riddles are more complicated in the book and aren’t solved with a few minutes of contemplation.
I think almost every problem I have with the movie can be summed up in 2 words; Time Restraints. I hate those words, but they are what leads me to think that books shouldn’t be made into movies… no, they should be made into high budget Television series on the scale of Game of Thrones and the upcoming Lord of the Rings series.
That’s just my opinion, and as the great Levar Burton always said; Don’t take my word for it. Go see the movie, go read the book (or listen to Wil Wheaton read it on audible), and form an opinion on your own. I enjoyed the movie, I really did, it’s only the second movie I’ve ever gone to see more than once in theater.
That is all, carry on my wayward readers.