Rating: 1/2 a *
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad
Director: Chris Columbus
Still reeling from the fact that Pixels is a Chris Columbus movie. Ugh. Why and how could he ever do this to his ardent fans from the leagues of Home Alone , Mrs Doubtfire , Stepmom , The Goonies , Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ... The awesome list goes on and on. But the betrayal has just begun. I can't stop praising him and hating him at the same time. For one thing, Pixels did have an original premise and the short film it is based on is also quite decent. But this botoxed version is terrible. The acting is just plain lazy. The script is boringly dreadful. The basic concept follows that aliens have come to destroy Earth after misinterpreting a 1982 video game arcade championship as an act of war. A bunch of former arcade game champions get a chance to play at being heroes and save the world. The President of the United States, Kevin James, brings in his childhood buddies Adam Sandler and Josh Gad. The nemesis aka Peter Dinklage, who cheated a lot, is also roped in. Of course, after that, the plot makes zilch sense. The movie screams that it is racist, homophobic and sexist. The main characters are creepy stalkers and conspiracy-theory nutcases who either live with their moms or are in prison. You get the drift. Dinklage’s character, Eddie, even gets his requested three-way with Martha Stewart and Serena Williams, both of whom actually appear in the movie. Why, Serena, why?
From Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Q*bert, Pac-man to Galaga, there are some gorgeously cool-looking effects moving around in the movie. But other than that, the candy-coloured chaos is intentionally cartoonish. The space bugs do have a pattern — they are all ashamed to be in a film with Sandler. The man in the orange shorts is at his crassest best.
The real question is, when was the last time you actually saw a good Sandler movie? FYI: That was a rhetorical query meant to induce crackles of laughter.
Apparently, it’s OK for a man to call a woman he doesn’t even know 'snobby'. Sandler also refers to his lady-love-interest, Michelle Monaghan, as 'crazy', 'riff-raff' and 'psycho' and after all those sucky free-flowing jibes he leans in for a kiss. Because, you know, he thought they were 'having a moment'.
The misogny in the film is more than just slightly disturbing. It is not funny that Gad's sexual fantasies about a female video game character are fulfilled when she’s left on Earth as a literal trophy. Really? More than 'true love' he deserves a tight whack. It is like high school never ended for these so-called nerds.
The only good part about the movie spells destruction. There is a scene involving two Indians near Taj Mahal. Only, seconds later the monument gets pixelated out of existence. Columbus, apparently, had a certain image in mind while designing the special effects of the comedy film. He thought the iconic destruction of Taj Mahal, instead of the usual Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower was a cool concept.
The movie is mostly a lot of colorful 8-bit combat. It operates on vengeance mentality — once bullied, always on revenge mode. It is also, surprisingly, non-violent. But even our beloved 80s nostalgia couldn't save this film from being the dud it is.
*Spoiler alert* For a change, Sean Bean doesn't die in the movie. But the Smurf does.
Don't go for the movie. Watch the trailer here:
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of ScoopWhoop)