Pixels: Call it game over


I’ve used the word ridiculous to describe the last two movies I reviewed. For the sake of continuity, I’m making the word ridiculous the theme of this article as well.

In Adam Sandler’s latest starring role, he play a nerd named Brenner, a former video-game prodigy turned washed up loser who is called upon to save the world by his childhood friend Cooper (Kevin James), who is now the President of The United States.

Alongside another childhood friend Ludlow (Josh Gad) and former childhood enemy Eddie (Peter Dinklage), Sandler’s Brenner must save the world from a fleet of invading extra-terrestrials who plan to annihilate Earth using retro video games.

A ridiculous story, isn’t it?

So what can you expect from this unique romp if you go to see it in theatres? Well for starters you’ll get that “Adam Sandler is a big time loser, but still manages to get the super-hot girl at the end” cliché.

You’ll also get your fair share of “Kevin James doing his fat guy dance” and “Josh Gad singing in his squeaky voice.”

What else? Oh yeah, the “They used 80’s music to make it more nostalgic,” and the “How will these unlikely heroes beat the odds and save the human race feeling” feeling.

The only thing really missing is David Spade.

To say this movie is Sandler indulgent would be an understatement. It’s like every other movie he’s made for the past 10 years, and while you may be tempted to shrug your shoulders and say “I’m willing to forgive his latest string of movie-mishaps because I still love him for Billy Maddison and Happy Gilmore,” I must remind you that we are no longer dealing with the same person.

The loveable idiot with a heart of gold that we once knew and cherished is dead and with him went every single one of Adam Sandler’s entertaining qualities.

Do you want to know the worst part is too? Pixels could have actually been a half decent movie without the cast it was stuck with. The story is way less preposterous than you’d initially assume it to be. The script does a fairly decent job at explaining the far-fetched material, and seeing all these pixelated video game characters come to life is actually very cool visually, but the people driving the film are in fact so detrimental, that it sort of ruined the whole thing.

Sandler is easily the worst part of the film, but there’s really no surprise there. Follow that up by Gad, who became famous overnight for playing a snowman in an animated feature and hasn’t been able to deliver since, and Kevin James who seems more than happy playing chubby side-kick to whoever will throw a paycheck his way and you have a rotten start to an already shaky concept.

All of them don’t even rank for most disappointing feature in this film however. That award goes to, and believe me when I say this hurts, Peter Dinklage. We all know and love him as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones, and we’re all very aware of the serious acting chops this guy has, but his go as Eddie in Pixels proves to be a real low point in his otherwise solid career. His accent is shaky, his inflection is all over the place and more than anything, it just didn’t feel right having the distinguished Dinklage playing an 80’s Karate Kid-esque villain.

I had high hopes for Pixels, I always get a little excited for original stories, no matter how ridiculous the concept, but unfortunately there is no fun to be had here. It’s more of the same for Adam Sandler and the gang, and even the people who should have been the high point can’t pull through.