Blegh. So the premise of this is that back in the 80’s, NASA sent a time capsule up into space. This included some video games. Some aliens took this as an act of war and have traveled to Earth 30 years later, and it is up to the arcade champions of decade’s past to save the day. Now I can’t say that I am the biggest fan of Adam Sandler and his shenanigans, which is a fact that you are well aware of if you know me personally. It’s not that I think he’s the talentless; he’s made quality movies like the fantastic Punch-Drunk Love and good, but overly long Funny People, and I do acknowledge their merits. My beef with Adam Sandler is that he almost always takes the laziest route, which to me, is even worse than him not having the skills in the first place.
The curious thing about Pixels is that I actually think that this is not a bad concept; a video game mash-up is solid on paper, and they made it work in Wreck-It Ralph, and they could have made it work here. The problem is that nobody wanted to make the effort, and the men who penned this screenplay don’t need to be working in Hollywood. Pixels is all about lame insults for Adam Sandler to make at everyone else’s expense. For whatever movie he’s in, it is a requirement that he has to be the coolest guy in the room and put down everybody who interacts with him. He is always talking like he is above it all, and it makes no sense, especially given where his character is coming from here; if I ever got gleefully disrespected by somebody who works for what is essentially the Geek Squad, I would report him to management and probably get him fired.
They could have done so much more with this if anybody about this cared. There are some talented actors featured like Peter Dinklage and the beautiful Michelle Monaghan, and they really aren’t given all that much to do. On top of that, there are appearances by relatively big names like Brian Cox and Sean Bean who have even less to do, which just makes you wonder if they knew what they were signing up for. The film itself is overly long and feels like it should have wrapped everything up at about the hour mark. At this point in his career, Sandler is making movies that are worse than the movies he parodied in Funny People, and it is almost as if he goes into these projects with the intention of having montages to Spandau Ballet and Loverboy when he is not busy writing off his family vacation on his taxes. I would even go so far to say that director Chris Columbus is better than this. I only award minor points for the concept itself, because the script for this really might be the laziest one of the year.
Pixels (2015) *1/2
– Critic for Hire