Ready Player One Review

Ready Player One Review

Ready Player One earns the title of “Holy Grail of pop culture references” many times over. But is it better than the book it's based on?


Ready Player One Review

Ready Player One Review

**Ready Player One** earns the title of “Holy Grail of pop culture references” many times over. Released in theaters in March and available on blu-ray, DVD, and digital download as of July 24th, the film goes above and beyond with references to iconic characters and movies like the Iron Giant, Ninja Turtles, Monty Python, Gundam, King Kong, and Blade Runner. Despite its entertainment value, it doesn't quite surpass the book.

The Movie

When I first heard that Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One was being turned into a movie, it seemed like a natural progression. It pays homage to pop culture and cult favorites, elevating them to legendary status. Steven Spielberg, a director whose heyday was in the eighties, ended up in the director’s chair. Spielberg's involvement ensured top-notch effects and a multi-million-dollar budget, capturing the story's scale.

Spielberg masterfully balances nostalgia with futuristic elements, creating a visually stunning and engaging film. The high-paced action sequences, especially the race and final battle, are brilliantly executed, making full use of CGI technology.

The Writing

Turning a book into a film requires delicate reimagining. Ernest Cline, the book's author, was involved in the screenwriting, ensuring the film retained the spirit of the book. Key plot points were maintained, and while some adaptations were necessary, the movie stayed true to the story’s heart. Cline and screenwriter Zak Penn did a commendable job condensing the massive story into a film while keeping its essence intact.

The screenplay succeeds in translating the book’s immersive universe into a compelling visual narrative. However, some characters and subplots had to be trimmed or altered to fit the film format, which might disappoint die-hard fans of the novel.

The Book

While the movie was great, I’m still a fan of the book. Within the pages of Ready Player One, the reader can truly get to know Wade Watts. The book not only drenches itself in pop culture and geekiness, but also serves as a primer for those unfamiliar with these references. The book’s climax was more satisfying, and I can't wait for “flick-syncs” to become a reality.

Cline's novel offers a deeper exploration of the characters’ motivations and the dystopian world they inhabit. The rich detail and extensive backstory in the book provide a more immersive experience, making it a must-read for fans of the genre.

Books First, Movies Second

Ready Player One demonstrates that while movies can be visually stunning, books have the unique ability to let you create a film in your mind. Movies have a limiting runtime, whereas books allow for deeper exploration of characters and stories. After watching Ready Player One, I recommend reading the book to experience the full depth of the story.

Cultural Impact

Ready Player One has sparked renewed interest in the 80s and 90s pop culture, influencing fashion, music, and gaming. The film has introduced younger audiences to classic references, bridging generational gaps and creating a shared cultural touchstone.

Final Thoughts

Ready Player One is a thrilling adventure that resonates with both long-time fans and new viewers. While it may not capture every nuance of the book, it successfully brings the essence of Cline's story to life. Whether you're a gamer, a pop culture enthusiast, or just looking for an entertaining movie, Ready Player One is worth the watch.

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