Ready Player One | Book/Movie

I got to see this a day before the actual release date!!

Amazon – Ready Player One

Goodreads – Ready Player One

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. – Goodreads Synopsis

I am going to chalk up my early viewing as a happy mistake from the movie theater, but hey, I’m not complaining!

I cannot believe that I have not posted about this book yet! (but I did Armada?!) Ready Player One is always going to hold a special place in my heart, as it spoke to me in new ways. I grew up with the zillion references that were packed tightly into this book, and I’ve played MMOs religiously for as long as they’ve been around. You put both together and you get my childhood (and adulthood?). Whether it is because both Wade and I had shitty lives, and were trying to escape to find real adventure and happiness, is beyond me to say – but MMOs have always been there for us. We both have best friends who we’ve only met on MMOs as well!

This book perfectly imitates the joy (and many other emotions) of being on a quest. There are challenges, excitement, and rewards! (Which we all know is the recipe for producing serotonin)  There is friendship, love, camaraderie, and all that stuff that brings people together.

Let’s talk about the movie now…

MAJOR SPOILERS

The hype for this movie to come out was real for me. After reading the novel years back, I was very excited to say the least (because of how much the book meant to me) when they announced that there was going to be a movie adaptation. Here is the thing about movie adaptations – all of us readers KNOW the movie is going to be worse, but we just can not get away from that hype. We know it will not stay 100% true, but what if it is an amazing adaption? Gets me everytime.

I did enjoy the movie overall, but there were so many times during the movie I said “WTF this is not what happened in the book”. I get that movie adaptations have to be cut down for time, and be able to tell the true story in a short period of time, and blah blah blah – but it irks me when things are changed to make the story more enjoyable to a wider audience. That makes it feel like a money grab to me. Some of the differences that got to me were:

  • The challenges were different

Yeah ok. I get some of it, but I went into the theater expecting to hear 2112. (But hey they called back to it with Aech’s shirt at the end!)  I think the first race should have had a bumpin music track in the background too. (Think the Black Panther car chase scene.)

  • The extra-life coin

I wanted to see Wade playing Pac-Man! Where was the training montages of playing all of the old arcade games? Why did Og have to be the curator?

  • Everyone lives?

Pfft.

  • No weight-loss for Wade.

This part kind of irked me as well. I wanted to see more training montages of Wade becoming better than he was in the beginning of the movie. Give me more character development. Maybe it is personal to me, because I use to be overweight when I was growing up playing video games, and then I worked my ass off to get where I am now.

There were more differences, but these are the ones that made me go “WTF?!” I did really enjoyed the overall movie. It was worth the money, and I am still stoked I got to see it before the actual release date. I was not expecting it to be as animated as it was…but that’s on me for not thinking it through beforehand.

“Being human totally sucks most of the time. Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.

31 thoughts on “Ready Player One | Book/Movie

  1. I really didn’t like the book. I thought it was ridiculously boring and a lot of the text was irrelevant – it just seemed like he wanted to cram his knowledge of 80s pop culture in. I guess if you grew then it would be more appealing but given I was born in the latter half of the 90s, I can’t relate.
    I was debating going to see the film but I’m not sure I’ll bother.

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  2. I was super annoyed with the challenges being so different from the book – and them switching a lot of Artemis/Wade roles. But when they were doing challenge two, I decided to think of it as something separate from the book I read and then it was a bunch of fun! I didn’t grow up in the 80’s (not hardly in the 90’s either) and thought the book did a great job of explaining the pop culture aspects. I really wanted to see Wade acting out that movie but oh whale!

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  3. I just finished reading the book and I liked it even though I couldn’t catch every 80’s references… I think the final part is very good and I liked the personal development of the protagonist. Actually the idea of a giant MMO mixed in the real society is a idea and it’s like a “future development” of “social networks” in our society. I wanted to watch the movie but I couldn’t yet. It’s sad to know they changed the quests in the movie…

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  4. I’m glad you posted this review. My 8th grade students went crazy for this book this year. I only had a couple copies and the students were fighting over those and even sneaking copies away from other students. It was awesome. Wish I could take them all on a field trip to the movies to see it. hahaa

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  5. I had been debating on seeing it, I just finished listening to the audiobook a few weeks ago (narrated by Will Weaton!) I had a feeling those would be the changes in the adaption of the book to film, but I’ll probably enjoy it. Good review 🙂

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  6. I agree with you – the book was great and they did a good job of making the changes they needed to make it better for the screen. I was also like wait WTF when the first challenge happened and at that point I some how mentally let it go (even though it took me 3+ movies in Harry Potter) that this was a different entity.

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  7. I’m seeing a lot of hate online for the movie, which is a shame. Why can’t we just be entertained without having to pull everything apart and analyse every single frame? I took my son and we had a ball! 🙌

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  8. This is a great book. I haven’t seen the movie but the book made me laugh out loud. The only funnier novel that I read was ‘John Dies At The End’. If you enjoyed Ready Player one, you’ll love it when John Dies.

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  9. I just re-read the book and I was really curious to see what changes they were going to make for the movie. I mean, I know that I was silly to get my hopes up but I really wanted both Wade and Art3mis to be more plus-sized like they are in the book. Ah well. Anyways, great review! I can’t wait to see the movie!

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  10. I loved the book and I kinda had to go into the movie already separating the book from the movie adaptation in my mind; I’d read to many accounts of things being changed and the trailer for the movie just further solidified that idea. In the end I was not altogether disappointed in the movie, some of the changes made a lot of sense…I mean, how exciting would it be to watch Z play through all the levels of Pacman…true to the story, for sure, but not real thrilling to watch on the screen. I do wish they’d kept certain parts the same – not saying which ones specifically so that I don’t spoil it for anyone still reading or planning to read the book out there – like Artemis and Daito’s story lines…as you mentioned above. Although I loved all the 80’s pop culture references in the book, I was kinda glad to see they didn’t overwhelm the movie audience with it…but it was still kinda a let down in that regard. I loved how all of those references were woven into the book, it made for a strong sense of connection with all the aspects of the plot.
    Anyway, I enjoyed your review. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. As a person who hasn’t read the book before the movie, I loved it soooo much! And I actually loved the whole extra-life coin part!! But hey wait…..there was NO extra life in the book and some of the high-5 people died???!!?!???

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  12. I’d had the book on my to read list for like years…finally got around to reading it a few weeks ago (because it was read it now or just see the movie and never read it – I find I can’t read a book after seeing the movie because the movie influences too much of what I see in my head then). After people hyping the book for me over the years (esp a few friends recently), I honestly wasn’t really a fan of it. In a lot of ways it reminded me of Among Others by Jo Walton (which read like a shopping list of 70’s/80’s books to me – Ready Player One likewise was a shopping list of 80’s references). I grew up in the late 80’s so I got most of the references….but it just seemed to get kind of old partway through the book. *shrug*

    So I was pleasantly surprised that I rather liked the movie, a lot more than the book. Yes, there was still quite a bit wrong with it (as others have said, the challenges seemed too easy, plus there were some scenes I really wanted to see that weren’t there, like the epic Joust play-off against the Lich). But some of the other choices I thought were good, like having Art3mis indentured – the whole episode with Wade doing it in the book had me going “wtf????” quite a bit. Plus it was nice to see Art3mis have a more extended role – she’s still sort of just the girlfriend, but she’s got a bit more agency than in the book (I didn’t think she had much in the book since it’s from Wade’s perspective).

    All that being said – I’m of the opinion that both the book and the movie would have been waaaaaay better from Aech’s perspective over Wade’s.

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  13. I COMPLETELY agree, especially on the weight-loss thing. Coming from a huge weight-loss transformation myself, I was disappointed that Wayde was cast as this already “fit” person. I feel like they missed a prime opportunity for some major character development. But, overall, I really enjoyed the movie.

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  14. I really really like the book, and quite disappointed about how the movie turned out. Where’s all the 80’s games and movies references? And what the heck did they do to the quests? It was perfect the way they were. And I was like, who’s this iR0k again?. But I liked the final battle tho.

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