Ready Player One (2018)
When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.
I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline back in 2011 when it came out and I freaking loved it. I gave it to my dad as a Christmas gift that year and everything. Sure it was packed full of 80s references but it was fun! I will judge all VR by the VR in the game and it will probably never live up to that in my lifetime. I never went back and read it again, even though I own it on hardback, and after watching the movie I’ve realized it did not age well.
Wade Watts, Ty Sheridan, lives in the stacks in Columbus, OH. His parents are dead and his aunt is “raising” him, her abusive boyfriend is clearly the priority though. Wade spends all of his time in the OASIS, which is the VR world. That’s where everyone lives. Wade doesn’t seem to have a job or go to school instead he is a gunter, he hunts for Easter eggs to unlock the dead creator of the OASIS billions.
Wade is a pretty one note character, there is almost no depth here. He lives and breathes Halliday, Mark Rylance, and everything that Halliday loved so that he can win the contest. Somehow, even after thirty years or so, Wade figures it all out and against all odds wins.
Naturally, there’s a girl, Olivia Cooke. There’s a romance here, but you never really figure out why Samantha likes him. She seems to have more depth than him, she wants more, and is leading a resistance or something, and yet she falls for the nerd that can’t tell you anything about the real world. It’s very wish fulfillment and disappointing.
Visually, the movie is shot beautifully, of course, Steven Spielberg. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really save the movie for me. It was nice to hear the random 80s theme song notes every now and then too. It’s just…the world has changed since this book came out. I’ve changed. Seeing a white boy with no thought to anything outside of old pop culture just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
There were lots of changes from the book, there would have to be in something like this, however, I felt like most of the changes were not for the better. All in all, it was a pretty disappointing movie and I’m kind of scared to ever go back and read the book.