I watched Ready Player One over the weekend. Much like other Spielberg movies, it borrows shamelessly from the book it is based on while being almost an entirely different story. It shares some scenes with the book, but most of the movie is created in whole cloth for the big screen.

This is actually a good thing, I think. I enjoyed the book, but it was written to be a book, not a movie. Many of the scenes in it simply wouldn’t work for a mass-market movie. They wouldn’t be amazing enough. The opening race in the movie was exciting and allowed for an opening extravaganza of sights and sounds. Watching a battle of the classic arcade Joust like in the book? It wouldn’t have the same punch.

More changes are that the abject poverty in the book, in both real and digital worlds, is glossed over in the movie. And many things that Parzival did in the book are parceled out to other characters for the movie. This is very nice as it gives them more time to shine, but at least some of those were major character points for the hero, and change the course of the story. One character’s contribution is completely and utterly changed, denying him a major character point, but granting him a host of others that I think are worthy of him.

I may disagree with some of the changes, while agreeing wholeheartedly with others. In the end though, the movie is the movie, which is a substantially different animal from the book. And I think that is good. It was a fun movie to watch, and stayed close enough to the heart of the book that I think it is a worthy translation of the source material. I enjoyed my time in the movie, and will look forward to buying the DVD when it comes out.

I give the movie two Deloreans, flying up way high.