SnowboardJunkie’s review published on Letterboxd:
One Word…aweeeSOME! Spielberg has the market cornered on fun entertainment, hands down.
I can only imagine how hard it must be to adapt a book no matter what title of literary genius bestowed upon it (Im not claiming the book is a stand the test of time masterpiece, please don’t misunderstand me). But what makes this story so much fun is intact. What gives it heart is beating stronger than ever. The opening salvo, reaching back to the classic race car scenario. Facing many of the big bad boys, King Kongs, spiked bombs, and crash up derby until the one nerd finds the back door and overcomes the impossible is classic video game hero stuff. And making the finale a cross world video game reality mash up perfectly captures the thrills of the book and allows our eyes and ears to dance along with Spielberg’s never ending imagination.
The cast captures the soul of the battle to overcome life’s biggest monsters with aplomb. And who better than Ben Mendelson to play that guy. One of cinema’s best thespians of the last decade and most certainly it’s greatest at making us hate him in new ways every time. The real treat however is Mark Rylance as the games creator and reflection of the little kid in all of us who’ve ever had a crush on someone. Knowing we missed our chance and wishing we could do it all over again. But no matter how much fun this alternate reality is, it’s still make believe and real relationships, our real friends is what matters in the end.
Ready Player One feels like a story Spielberg waited a lifetime to adapt. One of his day dreams hacking into the web and making a place the underdog can play the field on even keel for the big screen. A real little guy, rag to riches epic adventure that only Mr. Dreamworks could conjure up. Of course Ernest Cline’s book gives him the detailed treasure map. But only Spielberg could crack the code with such sincerity and allow the audience to find the loot.
I loved the book and this takes liberties with the stories structure and details - quite honestly there’s no way you could jam everything from the book into a single movie without making it 5 hours. But he gets what makes it tick and that’s the real victory here. Thank you Mr. Spielberg for adapting one of the funnest adventure books I’ve ever read, so well.