It’s the age old question asked by any film or print fan around the planet. I know how many times I’ve been asked, ‘why would you read that, they made a movie?’ Obviously it’s because the book is always better.
But is it really?
In the year 2044, 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.
I’ve been so excited for Ready Player One; from the moment it was announced but especially after I heard Steven Spielberg would be the director. I just knew Ready Player One would make a fantastic movie, and I was mostly right.
Confession time: I read Ready Player One way back in 2012, and only once. I can’t tell you whether or not the movie was spot on, or how much was changed. I know things were changed, but for the most part I got a similar rush of excitement from the movie as I did when I read the book. Truthfully, I almost prefer to put some time between the book and the movie. If I read and watch too close together I focus on a side by side comparison rather than enjoying the movie for itself.
When I think of the Ready Player One movie on its own, I was highly entertained. The visuals were amazing! Again, I was transported into the Oasis and I wished it was real. Again, I know that wasn’t the takeaway of the book, but damn it is awesome. At the end, I kept thinking about how I’d design my avatar… and the same thing happened when I finished the book.
The casting was pretty decent, especially Aech. Actually, Aech, Daito and Sho. They were my favorites in the book, other than Wade, and they were my favorite in the movie too.
I also thought it was interesting how much my husband enjoyed the movie. I was curious how it would translate for viewers who weren’t already familiar with the world, so I was pleasantly surprised when my husband was able to invest just as much as I was. We both had a really good time.
As much as I did have a good time watching the movie, the book is definitely the clear winner.
I have a feeling watching the movie more than once could cause some of the jokes to tilt toward the cheesy. What was funny the first time, I think may just make me roll my eyes later.
Also, I know Parzival and Artemis fall for each other in the book, but it didn’t feel like the largest part of the story. I felt like Wade’s friendships were of larger importance, as was the overall theme of reality vs fantasy. However, in the movie the love story felt expanded and pushed. Normally I’m all for the romance, but it didn’t feel natural. The movie would have been better without it.
What the movie did accomplish was making me want to reread the book! I will be doing that ASAP.