Ready Player One: A film better than the book


Daniel Fosselman, Staff Reporter

“Ready Player One” is an interesting creative venture. It started off as a book that sold surprisingly well, despite its quality. The book has many flaws that I would not want to talk about now. The good part is the film is better than the book, by all means, which is probably the first time this sort of situation has ever arisen. The author of “Ready Player One”, Ernest Cline, was a screenwriter before he wrote the book, not to mention Steven Spielberg’s work on the film, which was probably what made it as good as it is now. So what’s good and what’s bad about the “Ready Player One” movie?


“Ready Player One”’s presentation is probably it’s finest quality. At first you would think it’s heavy use of CGI all throughout the movie would be a negative aspect, but it will hardly ever blend real life with CGI like a Transformers flick, which is usually where filmmakers go wrong. “Ready Player One” does it right. CGI is really only ever used when something is happening in the Oasis, the game world. It is also very clear when the action is in the Oasis and when it is not. There is only one time the Oasis and reality really blend, and the movie does that on purpose and it works fine, as the illusion is revealed to the audience quickly. The Oasis is stylized in a way that really lends itself to the idea of it being a game. When players die in the Oasis, all their items and money explode out of them in a very cartoonish way that echoes the excessive gore you get in some games nowadays without it actually being very horrifying. Everything in the Oasis felt cohesive, and any reference that was made to pop culture or video games never felt out of place or explicitly shoehorned in.


Compared to the book, “Ready Player One”‘s story is quite different. The basic premise remains unchanged. Decades in the future, there is a massive and immersive virtual reality game that everyone plays, the Oasis. When the game’s creator and owner passes away, he devises a hunt for three keys to find the ultimate game easter egg. Whichever player that finds all the keys and the egg inherits the Oasis and the creator’s fortune, and it’s up to a small group of egg hunters to track it down in a race against a mega corporation for control of the future. A lot from there has changed. If you read the book, playing “spot the difference” with this movie is pretty easy. But regardless of its differences, this plot is still an improvement over the book. In a film, there is much less room for unnecessary details and explanations that made the book worse. The action moves faster in the film than it ever does in the book, and it can keep you engaged much easier. The plot was serviceable for this kind of movie, but nothing exceptional. Furthermore, the characters of “Ready Player One” weren’t horribly memorable. There are about three characters that I found to stick out and really left an impression out of the whole cast. Everyone else felt fairly generic, which is not inherently bad, but also not good. There were a couple themes throughout the film, but weren’t very strong, and only really came in at the end.


Overall, I felt that “Ready Player One” was not a bad movie. It is the ultimate Spielberg movie, super imaginative, but not very substantive. If you are a fan of video games or other nerdy media, I believe you will get enjoyment out of “Ready Player One” and I recommend you see it for the fun factor alone. Just for simply being able to see so many cool things happening was a joy for me. Nonetheless, it would not be honest of me to excuse the flaws the movie has because I saw cool stuff that I liked. I would sum up “Ready Player One” in six words: not bad, but not great, either.