I’m writing this at 10:15 pm on Wednesday night, after getting home from seeing the first showing of “Ready Player One”, Steven Spielberg’s creation based off Earnest Cline’s best-selling novel.
This was just the movie I needed to see.
I read the book last June, and I loved it. The funny thing is, it fell into my lap at a time when I was searching for an escape… sort of like right now. Since closing the book last summer, I’ve been counting down the months and the days for this movie to hit the big screen.
All book lovers know that when a great book hits the theatres, it’s a gamble. The story might be completely changed, the characters may not be how you imagined, and in general, the movie just won’t do the book justice.
But when the trailer for “Ready Player One” hit the internet a few months ago, two things caught my attention: the main character, Wade, was exactly how I’d imagined him, and his raggedy life within the stacks was built just how I saw it in my mind. Success.
Before I go any further, let me give you the run-down. “Ready Player One” is the story of Wade, a teenager living in Ohio during the year 2045. It’s a time when most of the population is so fed up with life, they seek refuge in a video game called The Oasis.
Everything happens inside The Oasis – work, school, nightclubs, and well, fighting demons. In 2040, the creator of The Oasis, James Halliday, died. And he left his legacy to the first player to find all three hidden keys that unlock a golden egg.
The best parts of The Oasis? You can be whoever you want, do whatever you want, and no one has advantages over anyone else. There are no rules, and anyone can win.
I won’t go into too many details, but the movie is a little bit different from the book. However, it’s only in the ways that needed to be embellished for film’s sake – the kind of things people want to see, even if they didn’t read the book. There’s a little more love and a little more real life scenes than in the book, but it was seamless. Naturally, the movie capitalized on all of Cline’s 80’s references (and added several), but it was very fun.
There were so many great lines in the book that I noted in my book review, but none of my favorites made it into the movie. However, there were several lines worth noting:
- People come to the Oasis for all the things they can do, but they stay for all the things they can be.
- Like many of you, I only came here to escape, but I found something much bigger than just myself.
Truthfully, this movie has it all – the drive to fit in, family trials, loss, love, heartbreak, and friendship. It’s half-VR, half-IRL… and it’s eerily meta. Bravo, Mr. Cline.
I’ve already seen reviews giving Spielberg too much credit for the world Cline created – I’ll keep saying it, you’ve got to read this book. I have also seen a few comparisons to “Willy Wonka”, and sure, that’s loosely an argument to be made. But Charlie Bucket does not make for a Wade or Parzival.
As soon as the credits rolled, I noticed I’d been grinning for the entire 2+ hours, and immediately had to send a text telling someone just how good it was. This is one for the books.