Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage
Director: Chris Columbus
Running Time: 106 mins
Pixels is an American film about the disaster that befalls Earth when aliens attack the planet with simulations of 80s video game characters that they interpreted as a threat to themselves, leaving only the arcade nerds to save the world.
Right, this film, despite having an initially interesting and promising concept, is simply rubbish. As a comedy, it’s completely unfunny, and as an action movie, there’s no excitement at all, leading to an extremely dull watch from start to finish.
The first thing that you may fear about this is that it’s an ‘Adam Sandler movie’, meaning it’s terrible. However, although it stars him, this isn’t your typical Sandler affair. The characters are largely normal and not shrill and irritating, and it’s not all toilet humour. In fact, Adam Sandler is one of the better parts of this film, giving a relatively relaxed performance.
That doesn’t mean that this is a good film, however. The characters, while not unbearably annoying (with the exception of the screechy Josh Gad), are painfully dull. Everybody, including Paul Blart (Kevin James) as the US President, is just tedious to follow. There’s no reason to support these guys on their mission to save the world, their camaraderie is as weak as anything, and their personalities are simply bland.
And with not caring about your main characters comes a serious problem in an action movie. The action sequences here aren’t all that long, but they’re incredibly boring because there’s no sense of danger or peril: seeing as whether these characters live or die is effectively irrelevant to you, there’s no reason to get invested and tense about the action.
Another issue with this, as an action film, is that it’s really slow and poorly structured. In comparison to the best action film of the summer of 2015, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which has five thrilling action sequences taking up the most part of the film, this movie involves three big scenes that last a coupled of very long-winded minutes, and then reverts to a tedious story for the next twenty or so, making this even less exciting than you first thought.
That would be all right, however, if the comedy here was good. But it isn’t. Again, it’s not terrible like most Sandler films, but it’s just as dull and bland as the main characters here. I don’t think I laughed once at this, and if it weren’t for the intrigue I had at this concept going into this as well as the relatively decent special effects, this would have been a properly appalling comedy-action movie, however, in the end, it gets a 5.2 from me.