Adam Sandler has over the years created a genre of his type of comedy. His comedy is clean, it’s on your face and it sometimes involves a lot of action. Pixels is a film which is very much his type of comedy but in putting some exhilarating action set pieces, he forgets the comedy totally. This hits this film pretty bad. The film is already deficient in the comedy department and god knows for what reason, a big chunk of the runtime is wasted on Sandler’s one on one with Michelle Monaghan’s character Violet. This discussion is so boring that I wished there was a fast forward button in the cinema hall and I could just zip forward.
Contrary to this, the sequences that Sandler shares with Cooper, the president of the United States, played by Kevin James is funny. James is just too far-fetched to be playing the POTUS but then you have to admit the fact that it is a Sandler film and anything can happen here. This brings me to the plot of the film which is just as unbelievable. In the 80’s, the government holds a gaming contest of some of the most famous arcade games ever like Donkey Kong, Pacman, etc. They make a video recording of the event, put it in a capsule and launch it in space. Some alien race intercepts the same and believes it to be a threat to attack them. Many years later, in 2015, they lay siege to our planet using the same games as their weapons.
Now the champions of the games of yester years become the only hope of the people. Brenner (Sandler) is the champion of Galaga, Eddie (Peter Dinklage) is the Donkey Kong master. Eddie is one of the best comic relief of the film. But his character is cut shorter than his height. I would love to have some more of him and his wicked humor. Sandler is surprisingly mellowed down sans a boardroom fiasco, where he repeatedly hits on a guy whom he refers to as “Zack Efron” and “Blue Lagoon” simultaneously. He is completely out of form and pulled down heavily by a malfunctioning script. I call it so because there is an utter lack of standard gags.
The film, tries to play on your imaginations by recreating the visuals and graphics of much loved games. Games, that we have grown up with. But the lack of comedy and an out of form Sandler leaves Josh Gad to shoulder the burden of making the film funny. He succeeds here and there but overall, there is a feeling of let down for the Sandler fans. There is a lot of action too. But the fact that this is a comedy first and foremost, drains any seriousness associated with the action and hence renders is less effective than what it aims at being. However the sequence, where three cars go around the Pacman is one sequence which is well done. The big finale is a letdown even with the presence of Donkey Kong and host of other gaming sensations.
This is a film which could have been made with a little more care and mind and it would have turned out to be a superb entertainer. However that is not the case here. Sandler’s lack of interest and the way he sleep walks through his role is a stickler. Dinklage never gets enough screen time to make any impact. Monaghan is an irritation and James even though cute cannot pull off half the meat of his previous acts. Thus the film spirals into oblivion real fast. I had high expectations from this film and that in turns doubled the disappointment. This is a strict no no if you don’t want to be bored. Steer clear of this film.