Ready Player One is a movie that seemed to be written off before it even had a chance to succeed.
For a few months now the book has been trashed and the movie with it, with some assuming it'll carry over the perceived worst tendencies of the novel or amount to little more than a film packed with Easter eggs and references but no substance.
The lesson to learn, then, is this: never, ever, underestimate Steven Spielberg.
The man who basically invented the blockbuster genre as we know it is back on form here, after a spell that had suggested the old master's magic was fading slightly (in fairness he's largely stepped away from these movies of late, but the last decade includes Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Adventures of Tintin, and The BFG - the latter two have their merits, but aren't Spielberg firing on all cylinders).
With him back in the groove, a strong cast working with him, and a rooting in the en vogue 80s nostalgia, it's no surprise that - despite a few glitches - Ready Player One is a big win for the expert of the blockbuster game.
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.