Ever wonder if Adam Sandler is going to make a good movie? Well, don’t get your hopes up for his latest film “Pixels.” In his latest flop, Sandler plays Sam Brenner, an expert video gamer since childhood. Brenner enters an arcade competition after perfecting the technique of finding patterns within a video game, and the main prize is NASA sending footage of the champion’s winning round to space. Little does Earth know that sending this footage would seem threatening to aliens and cause intergalactic warfare.
Cinematics (Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.) – 2
At the the surface, the plot of having aliens send video game characters to conquer Earth appears original, creative, and full of potential, until you know that this film is based off a short film. And in that case, I take back all of those positive compliments. On top of the lack of creativity, this film dumbs down the plot to the point where foreshadowing is as obvious as my Italian husband’s hairy back.
I was incredibly excited to see Peter Dinklage transition into a comedic actor, but this role is not his best. I’m not sure if the unidentifiable accent (which it is unclear if this is to make the audience laugh) is supposed to be a cross between Southern Valley and Tim Gunn or if he is unable to disguise his more distinguished accent in attempts to create a new accent. Despite his character’s traits, he is given some of the most memorable and hilarious lines.
Another cast member, Josh Gad, emulates the dorky, tech savvy, stalker-ish qualities that make him the best actor for this film. His ability to deliver the lines in a way that makes him funny, yet believable, is not out of reach for him. Nevertheless, I give him two thumbs up for his performance.
Sandler recruits many other actors/actresses that are underused including Jane Krakowski, Kevin James, Brian Cox, and Sean Bean. It’s as if they didn’t know in advance what character they would be playing or they owed Sandler a favor.
Perhaps the biggest stretch is Kevin James as the U.S. President. He is oafish, clumsy, and surprisingly, illiterate (his character, not him). He basically recycles the same character from “King of Queens” and “Hitch.”
Let’s move on to cinematography. Ugh. Sandler encouraged this movie to be made in 3D. I’m assuming he did this in an attempt to make the video gaming features stand out. However, it didn’t help the movie at all. The video game characters do appear to be in the same quality as the 1980s games, but they definitely don’t stand out in this movie. Perhaps the greatest cinematic moment was a battle between Sandler and the game “Centipede” and “Pac Man” and this is because the scenes are full of action and dynamic comradery.
Entertainment Value – 1
I’m sure by this point you can guess my impression of this movie in regards to entertainment value. It’s blah. In my opinion it doesn’t fair much better than “Grown Ups” or “Little Nicky.”
What might be of value to some people is the nostalgia. If you grew up in the early 1980s playing video games and listening to 80s hair bands, then this movie will be an infestation of your favorite pastimes. For those of you who didn’t spend your childhood entertaining yourself with 80s games and music, then this movie is un-relatable. You would also think that after spending $110 million dollars on the film that you could tolerate it more. You’d be wrong.
Overall, there are a few jokes and scenes that will make you chuckle, but don’t get your hopes up.
Would I watch this movie again? No. Should you? Depends. I previously mentioned that if you spent your time engaging or obsessing with early 80s mementos, then you may enjoy this movie. My advice, which is always of sound value, catch it on Netflix if you feel compelled to watch it.
- Entertainment Value
Sandler reinvents the wheel in his latest dud. I’m not sure what is worse, the fact that he spent $110 million dollars to create a subpar film that will fall into the abyss of Sandler flops or the poor timing of blockbuster hits driving audiences to see other movies such as “Ant-Man” and “Minions.” This movie just bytes.