Ready Player One: a likable, but not lovable movie.
The plot is about as predictable as a row of Space Invaders. I think the writers figured the target audience (teenagers) aren’t mature enough to notice the clichés and the older crowd would be placated with the numerous 80’s pop culture references. (OMG, that’s me. I’m the older crowd! When did this happen?)
Speaking of pop culture references: it’s interesting what was, and wasn’t included. My guess is that the creators had a limited inventory of characters from which to draw upon, which is a shame because there are some glaring omissions. I could be wrong, because in some scenes the number of visible characters is uncountable, but I never saw a single Storm Trooper, but I swear I heard the hiss of a passing Tie Fighter.
The biggest mistake the creators made is that the clues were all based on intimate knowledge of a character in the story. However, if the clues had relied strictly on pop-culture knowledge then the audience, at least some of us, would be able to participate. (This is the same mistake that the creators of Tomb Raider made.) The best example of how to do this is in the movies The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure. In those movies any history buff would have a fighting chance of either figuring out a clue before the characters, or at least thinking, Ah, I should have known that, afterward. It really adds to the enjoyment of a movie, but is perhaps beyond the skill of many storytellers today.
What is unforgivable is that in a movie replete with Easter Eggs it’s a virtual crime that there isn’t something, anything, after the end credits.