Watching an Adam Sandler movie is akin to having garlic salt mixed into your morning Joe. Yep, his movies are that bad. Well, maybe not all of them. I did enjoy Happy Gilmore and 50 First Dates (in a guilty pleasure late night cable viewing kind of way) but let’s not get hasty. The majority of his movies really stink. So, before viewing Pixels, you can understand my expectations were pretty low.
Before the first credit started, I was already checking the time and figuring out when I’d be home. Based on approximates, the running time was 106 min which meant there was still hope for the night.
As an avid gamer, the concept for Pixels seemed interesting.
While the story of aliens invading earth and a skilled gamer defending it had been told before (The Last Starfighter) this version had a fresh approach. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy watching a giant size Pac-Man chomping up cars and eating people?
Alas, Pixels would start and within the first ten minutes it was painfully clear this film wasn’t good. From the cookie cutter jokes to painful dialogue, everything was bad save for the 8-bit arcade visuals. The movies plot is simple enough. Sandler plays a 40-something cable installer by the name of Brenner who happens to be best friends with the President of the United States named President Cooper (Kevin James).
After Earth is attacked by Galaga-like spaceships President Cooper asks his friend Brenner (who was something of a video game genius) to help battle the 8-bit aliens. Along the way, Brenner enlists the aid of two gaming champions from the 1980’s. Peter Dinklage plays a cocky gaming nerd named Eddie who bested Brenner (Sandler) at Donkey Kong and Josh Gad plays a neurotic loner named Ludlow. I must say both actors were overly irritating in their performances. In particular, Peter Dinklage’s Eddie was over the top bad. The one bright spot is Michelle Monaghan’s Violet but that’s about it.
So, unless you’re a diehard Sandler fan, avoid this film and save your quarter for another day. Heck, that quarter might be better served at an actual arcade.