It's a bit unfair to write a disappointed review when there is no ground to be surprised that the film is crap. The book it was based on was crap, I read it before the film was made, and still I decided to watch the film... my own fault, really. Picking up a piece of shit, it's stupid to be mad at the shit for staining one's fingers. Oh well.
First, the good stuff: The film did have a few amazing special effect / CGI scenes, like the New York drive in the beginning. Imaginative, visually creative, impressive (shame to watch it on iPad screen). CGI characters carefully avoided the uncanny valley. Mercenary i-rok was a great character – the only one who actually had something resembling a personality. There was also something touching about the pop culture knowledge team employed by the evil corporation IOI. Probably the script writers find themselves in quite the same position.

All the other characters were as cardboard-y cliches as it is possible to create, or maybe, more charitably, mythical personages of our era. 100% evil and greedy suit certainly is a permanent resident of our cultural consciousness. A brave fighter girl. Japanese ninjasamurai guy – in the movie the tick-like honour-talk was removed, which was an improvement over the book. Good-natured giant with witty quips, and finally, the center around whom everything and everyone rotates: the nerd dude, to whose exact strengths the whole universe of the movie is built to respond to.
It's a wish fulfillment fantasy of the obsessive gamer guy, who has put ten thousand hours into mastering games of a certain genre, and to whom the entire culture and history of the Earth is meaningless except for those parts that constitute the gaming universe. He is undeniably a virtuoso in his field. If only it was of any use in the real world! Well, in this movie, it is! I understand, truly. Don't I wish someone made a movie where the knowledge about obscure romance writers or obsolete lace machines was the key to saving the world…

Other critics have already ripped apart the uncomfortable pattern of white dude savior surrounded by lesser POC/girl characters. They do all the hard and dirty work in the real world, while proagonist Wade is being heroic in the virtual world and receives the prize in the end.
There's the Hollywood issue with Japanese actors (not) playing Japanese characters. Myanmar-origin Win Morisaki playing Daito has a Japanese stage name, Japanese entertainment career and speaks Japanese, but come on people! Does he look Japanese? It's like having Antonio Banderas as a Finnish guy called Seppo Virtanen, since Seppo and Antonio are both Europeans. Unless the movie wanted to make a point about national identity not being tied to ethnic origins? But if it was that, it was too subtle among the rest of the movie, which as delicate as a jackhammer.

Other particularly irksome things include the most infuriating 'romantic' gesture ever. This title belongs to picking someone by their chin with one hand and swiveling their head. Unjustly shamed virgins in 19th century romances may have had their modest aimed-at-floor gazes tilted up by the older alpha lover, but even back then it was stretching the limits of human decency. I can't think of a more infantilizing gesture apart from patting someone on their head. With the distinction that it is possible to pat a little child on the head kindly and without harming the kid's dignity, whereas the head-swiweling gesture is appropriate only for horses. And that a guy who was just minutes ago rescued from a certain death by a henchman of a clever rebellion-leading girl has the nerve to do this to that very same girl..! Words fail me.

The whole movie is presented as a magic mirror where you can see yourself as the hero of the story, and I guess it works for the part of the audience which is precisely the same as the protagonist. For the rest of us, it would have worked better if it was more of a window type of film, where you can look into another life, maybe finding parallels with one's own situation, maybe not, but at least perhaps understanding a little bit more about a certain culture and people in certain situations. But what did I expect! I knew it was going to be like this and it was just as I guessed it would be.