This was taken from the same comment chain I posted my book review, posted a couple of months after my book review and a couple of days after seeing the movie.
I just watched the movie, and I'm sorry to say that it makes the book look like a masterpiece. I can't believe I was actually expecting Hollywood to make a movie that was better than the book. I criticized the book for being overly-detailed, but the movie isn't detailed enough.The story, writing, and characters are extremely bland and flat in the movie, whereas in the book there's at least some sort of character development and the world is quite fleshed out.
If the romantic subplot was half-baked in the book, it's quarter-baked in the movie. Two characters meet and fall in love without ever really interacting or even talking with each other, and all characters are pretty static throughout the story. You know the hero's journey, the basis for every single character development arc ever? That doesn't exist in Ready Player One (the movie). Characters don't change at all, or don't have enough time to reflect on decisions to change. At least in the book, Wade goes through some amount of change, albeit how cringy that process of change is.
The movie is also full of plot holes and simple conveniences that just move the story along without explaining anything. In the book, Parzival lives in Oklahoma City, Art3mis lives in Vancouver, Aech lives in an RV she drives around the Eastern US, Daito and Shoto live in Japan, and Morrow lives in Oregon. In the movie, every single important character lives in Columbus, Ohio, the apparent economic and cultural center of the world. Columbus may as well be the only city on Earth. Even though Daito has a Japanese accent and Shoto speaks Chinese, this is never referenced and they just appear in Columbus with no explanation.
Also, the thing I hated most about the movie was that it used way too many contemporary references. You know the '80s, the thing that was core to the storyline of the book, and what based all the references in the book? The '80s are never mentioned once in the movie. When the movie opened with a 5 second reference to Minecraft in the first 2 minutes, I knew it was going to be a shitshow cashgrab aimed at trying to attract the greatest number of people rather than stay true to the basic plot and storyline. In the book, the '80s are mainly referenced because Halliday was written to be obsessed with the '80s, and '80s culture comes back in the mid-21st century. In the movie, this is never brought up, and '80s references are just strewn about with no reason or rhyme, to make it look like the writers tried tomake it at least stay true in some fashion. Who knows if Overwatch is going to be popular 5 years from now, let alone 25 years? So many contemporary references have no place in a movie set in 2045, not at least with no reason. But no reason was ever given, probably because of the true nature of all of the contemporary references.
Overall, I give the movie a 3.4/10.