I seen this film in the Cinema. And said to myself this is just a cinema film. But I go Cinema t the blue ray. And love it. LOTS. I’ve watched it bout 12 times now. My wife is sick of it. But it’s a great film. Do your self a favour and buy this film.
Ok, I need to come clean: I couldn't finish Clines' original work. Too dark, too depressing, and it didn't feel that interesting in a world where we already have AR, VR, and online gaming.
The movie next-levels this experience by focusing on what's important: the characters. This is mostly about Wade and Samantha, but not exclusively, pulling in the other 3 members of the High Five. It's a fun, action romp with an OUTSTANDING sound track, leaning on excellent casting.
This last is tricky. Much of the story takes place in the virtual, where Wade becomes Parzival and Sam becomes Art3mis. The actors Sheridan and Cooke need to bring nuance and color to voice-only roles, and they really bring the rain. While the SFX are glitzy and full of shine, they definitely come across as Avatar-level CGI; it's the character voices that make the screen come alive.
The story revolves around their quest to control the VR gameworld they inhabit. Their actual quest is about companionship, and what's really important in the world. The message isn't lost on me as my Facebook feed tries to assure me the planet is a dumpster-fire. People are still people, wanting simple connections, and that's the real prize the High Five wage war over.
There are a lot of inside jokes that fans of 80s movie culture will enjoy. Viewers familiar with particularly video game pop culture will enjoy this movie the most, catering to a wide-spectrum audience for fans of iD, Blizzard, and other game franchises.
I didn't expect to like this, but I've now watched it twice. Let down a little by some over-candied CGI, this is an otherwise excellent experience for viewers of all ages.
I'd read the book for the first time a few days before watching this movie. All in all, the book was a better story. The movie was fine, and it's enjoyable, but it suffers the same problems movies have when adapting for books. One specific complaint is a competent character (Art3mis) from the book turns into a damsel in distress in the movie.
Watch the movie if you love a decent adventure with plenty of nostalgia, and then read the book if you want a good story. I wouldn't suggest the other way around though.