Pixels, a film that when i first heard of it i thought had a really great premise, seriously, classic video-games coming down to attack earth and the only way to defeat them is by playing by the rules of the game. On paper that sounds like a very fun and entertaining time, but then you add Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and a boring story and you get this barely watchable garbage with very few redeemable qualities. My main hope for this film was that Adam Sandler would not be playing a dumb character who speaks with stupid voices, yells, tells shitty jokes and that he would just play a more laid back character who can still be funny on occasion. But although he isn’t as bad as he has been in recent years he is still the low point of this film and drags it down, like, a lot. I don’t think i need to spell it out for you that Sandler has had a serious problem finding a good film since 2006’s ‘Click’. So i really shouldn’t be surprised at the fact that this isn’t a return to form, but Sandler at his best is hilarious so i will keep hoping that one day we will get a good Sandler comedy, unfortunately, this is far from it.
Now, the story in this film is just so dumb and cheesy and really doesn’t have much substance to it at all. The film is literally a few video-game battles scattered throughout with a whole bunch of side-plots and jokes in-between. But when literally 95% of those side-plots are crap and you don’t care about them it makes those scenes drag on and on. You have the obligatory romance that totally does not fit into the film at all and is a bunch of forced, completely out of place pile of crap that offers nothing more that cheap running jokes and filler to add to that run-time. Seriously, not a major plot spoiler here but be warned, (all in the first 20 minutes or so) a kid calls Sandler to install a T.V then he meets the kids mother, recently divorced, they talk, and then she happens to be a DARPA agent going to the same place as Sandler and then happens to for some reason be the person assigned to work closely with Sandler for the remainder of the movie. Did they even try?
Some of the characters/performances were ok at best, Peter Dinklage wasn’t great but he was kinda bearable, Josh Gad was probably the best in the film and that isn’t saying much. But the scenes with them at least kept me awake, if i had to sit there watching Sandler and Kevin James the whole time i’d have zoned out really quickly. Sorry, did i say Kevin James? I meant PRESIDENT Kevin James…… whose dumb-ass idea was that, imagine a world where Paul Blart is the president, yeh, i know it’s dumb. When was the last time Kevin James was actually funny, i can’t watch this guy anymore and he is heading down the same track as Sandler, if he isn’t there already. His character served no purpose other than crappy jokes and an excuse to have Sandler’s character at every place at the right time. And they even dragged Brian Cox and Sean Bean into this film, why they agreed i will never know.
So, what did i like? I actually found the video-game battles to be somewhat enjoyable, some more than others. Just seeing these old arcade games come to life in a 3D world actually was quite cool it looked good visually and were the highlights of the film. Sandler didn’t bother me much in those scenes because the focus was taken off him for a moment, of course, if you took him out of the scene it still would have been better. Especially the last 10-15 minutes i enjoyed quite a bit, i won’t spoil it but it was just fun to watch and got me to laugh for the first and only time.
So, in the end, i guess this is a good film for kids who will laugh at anything, and for those people who find Sandler still funny, whoever who are. But if you are looking for a good video-game based film, just watch Wreck-It-Ralph and you won’t be disappointed. I would have maybe pushed this film to nearly a 5 but they had to keep that goddamn piece of **** absolutely ******* dumb scene in there with Toru Iwatani so it loses a point. – 4/10