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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

Ready Player One | Film

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

The adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel — that was unfortunately co-adapted by the author. I’m not sure if the film was better, but I know it wasn’t worse than the novel.

The over all experience of the piece is great. The inside of the Oasis is beautiful, and looks as you would expect a virtual world to look. The snippets of “real world” we are given are shot beautifully. Steven Spielberg did beautifully with the visuals he chose and helped the actors with the less than stellar script.

If you are familiar with the novel, then you are aware of how jam packed it was with 80s references. We see a decent number of references in the film too, but they aren’t all 80s and they definitely don’t match the book. The most glaringly obvious non-80s reference is the Iron Giant that Aech builds. In case you forgot, The Iron Giant was an animated film that was released in the late 90s. While I am more than okay with seeing this reference, I don’t understand why it’s there. It doesn’t really serve any purpose. I know in the novel they have giant robots in the end (Iron Giant not being an option), but that didn’t seem to be a factor in this adaption. So why include it?

As I mentioned at the beginning, Ernest Cline co-wrote the script for this film. I didn’t know this until the ending credits. Once I saw that, so many of the things I was trying to figure out why were struggling made sense. Once again, we have a lack of character development. We have plenty of pieces that makes sense to go together but because there is little to no character development it doesn’t flow like it should.

The Resistance. Where did this “resistance” come from? From where I sat, it seemed to appear out of thin air, much like things in the Oasis. I think it was a good idea, but not well developed. How could something be so secret that a top gunter not know about it? Was the idea to say that Wade was super selfish and then joining the resistance changed him? Good idea. Bad execution. We hardly got to see Wade experience being a part of the resistance. Almost as soon as he was a part of it, he had to leave to “save it” — massively over used trope (only one who can save it, yeah right).

Once again, I was left asking myself — WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT THESE CHARACTERS? Seriously. There wasn’t even the pop culture references to save them for any shred of connection. The fact that I was familiar with the characters was how I had any kind of emotion towards them. AND they added a new character, but that really only made it possible to get to know Nolan Sorrento a little better. They also,*novel spoiler*, kept the character of Shoto alive.

Thank you, MoviePass for making it possible for me to see this. I would have left the theater wondering why I spent $16, if it wasn’t for you.

If it’s not already obvious, I was not super impressed with the piece. Doesn’t mean that it’s not enjoyable. I did enjoy it — to an extent. I just found the plot holes and lack of certain aspects slightly distracting. But feel free to check it out for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

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