“Ready Player One” disappoints for fans of the book

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“Ready Player One” disappoints for fans of the book

"Ready Player One" is a novel by Ernest Cline adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg.

"Ready Player One" is a novel by Ernest Cline adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg.

"Ready Player One" is a novel by Ernest Cline adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg.

Hannah Haworth, Co-Web Editor

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I admit, my expectations were too high. “Ready Player One” is a film adaptation of the novel by Ernest Cline with Steven Spielberg as the director, and despite knowing I will be disappointed because nothing can live up to the novel, I was excited nonetheless.

“Ready Player One” is set in a dystopian world in 2045 where most of everybody live their lives in the OASIS, a simulated world complete with jobs, games and avatars.

The story begins with Wade Watts, played by Tye Sheridan, trying to find Halliday’s egg, a prize left by the founder of OASIS for the rights of the virtual reality.

However, what I did not expect was a complete rehaul of the novel itself and when the credits say “based” on Cline’s “Ready Player One”, they loosely mean based.

While the overall concept was the same, nearly everything was changed from the novel, and I was not happy, even with Cline as a screenwriter. I understand dramatizing certain events and cutting scenes in order to fit the allotted time, but the one detail that was the same as the novel was that Aech, played by Lena Waithe, was wearing a Rush shirt in the end.

Even the dystopian world was different in the film. In the novel, the world fell apart because of the end of fossil fuel resources, in the movie it was the end of corn syrup. That does not even compare. Lead character Watts is supposed to be a poor, abused, chubby teen running from rapists and thugs to get to “school” or the OASIS, instead he was walking through sweet piles of stacks (a term in the novel for trailers stacked on top of each other to make use of available space) like everyone was great friends.

A huge mistake the movie made, in my opinion, was the teenage romance between Watts and Art3mis (Olivia Cook). The relationship began in two days and Watts said “I love you” the second day they met, there is supposed to be six months of flirting, emails and game play in between those days.

There is redeeming qualities about the movie, if you had not read the novel. The animation of the OASIS, race scene and The Shining scene were all visibly intriguing and entertaining to watch. There were awkward points and movie mistakes I noticed, although.

Most noticeably, in the end when the gang ends up in Aech’s van with the crowd outside, they open the doors and everyone has banners, signs and t-shirts for the “High Five” which they did not have literally five seconds before. This time gap was confusing.

Finally, the characters were strangely different than the novel characters. There were instances where the portrayal of the film characters was off putting and wrong. There is a reason why the novel is famous. For example, Watts is supposed to be an underdog type character with no money, credits, costumes or skins in the OASIS and cannot leave the school planet instead of the well decorated avatar that the movie shows. Ogden Morrow, one of the creators of the OASIS, helped Watts cheat without intentionally doing so. Morrow had no contact with Halliday the last fifteen years and has no idea how to solve the Egg Hunt, so the fact that he gave him an extra life is uncharacteristic and unfair.

The hasty ending of the film showed the complete lack of understanding by shutting off the OASIS every Tuesday and Thursday while Watts and Art3mis makeout, which would never happen in the world Cline created.

Overall, the movie was a disappointing adaption of the great novel, and while the cinematography and animation was impressive, the portrayal was heartbreaking as an avid nerd and lover of the book.

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