Adam Sandler used to be one of the kings of comedy. His two most well-known movies Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison are comedy favorites of even some self-proclaimed movie buffs.
However, now his production studio Happy Madison Productions is the stamp of failure for almost every movie he has been a part of after his glory days. Unfortunately, Pixels follows in the footsteps of failure and continues to show that Adam Sandler is just in it for the money.
The movie starts out promising with an interesting childhood backstory of Brenner, played by Adam Sandler, and Cooper, played by Kevin James, but it is quickly ruined once the two become adults. Brenner becomes a depressing tech installer because of losing an arcade tournament in his backstory. Cooper becomes president with no explanation as to how he was elected or what made him decide to become president.
The aliens attack less than five minutes after Sam and Cooper are shown as adults. Although the entire premise of the movie is that video game aliens attack Earth, there could have been some build up. Also, the explanation for why the aliens are attacking in the first place is incredibly weak. Their reason for attacking is because of a space probe the United States sent out that contained footage of their video game tournament and took it as a threat.
Even the video game battle scenes are ruined by the bored look on Sandler’s face. Most of the movie was obviously created in editing, but he could have at least tried to act like he was fighting video game monsters. All of the voxel video game sprites and effects look really good. The animators deserve all of the credit for any entertainment value in the movie.
Peter Dinklage plays a narcissistic gamer named Eddie that gave himself the nickname “fireblaster”. The painful “joke” that he created it for himself is told throughout the movie, and just like the first time it occurs, it isn’t funny. His acting also felt very forced like he was trying way too hard to be unlikable. Every movie he stars in feels like he is in it just because he is a character in Game of Thrones that people like.
What the movie should have been is a 30 minute long short film that had all the bad dialogue cut out, Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage not in it, the horrible love stories erased, and the video game fight scenes feature more video game references that had a clever twist to them. The only clever reference was when a building was destroyed by having sections of it being erased whenever the Tetris lines were.
I have to admit that I did laugh a few times during the movie, but it definitely was not worth the ticket price. I don’t recommend this film, but if you are at all interested in it then wait until you can watch it on Netflix. This movie is nothing but a cash-in on the current popularity in retro video games. Save the money and go see Ant-Man instead. 5/10