When I was growing up Adam Sandler was the man, you were cool if you had seen Happy Gilmore and if you didn’t get The Waterboy references it wasn’t worth contributing to the conversation. Then something happened, a dip in quality for the leading man and a viscous hatred for Sandler burst out of thin air. Now any film that he is in has to be bad, there is no debate if Sandler is in it there can’t be any good in it, right? Wrong. I’ve never been down on the hate for Sandler so unlike the majority of film fans I was actually looking forward to Pixels.
You’ve gotta love this concept; aliens taking the form of 80s video game characters and attacking earth, what is not to like? I struggle to think of a more fun concept than this. There was such potential for the film to end up looking naff but thankfully the design was sweet meaning the film looked great, effortlessly blending CGI with real life actors and settings. Within this design and concept came great creativity. I enjoyed the structure to the aliens attack, making it as accurate as possible to playing the arcade games but just on a bigger scale. The anticipation of what game and what character was coming next took me back to Jumanji and trying to guess what creature would come through the board next! I feel like if this film had of been released in the 80s it could have been a cult classic for me I could see it having a similar vibe to Back To The Future, Ghostbusters or Gremlins. I liked the majority of the cast, Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad all had their moments and despite most of the film world hating on these guys I still think they are a likable bunch of actors and I enjoyed watching them here.
Now don’t get me wrong I’m not championing Sandler and his movies as anything spectacular I just think they are good fun but they don’t get everything right. The plot to Pixels is ridiculous, you have to accept that. However, some aspects of the film to go too far and these are the moments that the haters will fixate on when in reality they aren’t too unexpected and they don’t detract much from the film – I’ll admit though that these moments are flaws. As well as this I really hated Peter Dinklage’s character, Eddie. He was always more annoying than funny and whilst he did fulfill a role I didn’t think his involvement enhanced the movie he just became an irritation due to a poor character scripting, more could have been made of this character. Like most of Sandler’s movies the jokes were about 50/50 in terms of success rate. Whilst this doesn’t bother me too much as I’m used to it and don’t really view his movies as comedies the failure to generate laughter numerous times throughout the movie can become tiresome.
Pixels IS a good fun time at the cinema, so what if not all the jokes land who cares when you have a giant Pac-Man roaming through the streets!? A slick design mixed with a great concept means that Pixels successfully entertains audiences for its under two hour running time no problem. Critics need to get over their hate for Sandler and realise that a big proportion of the general public like the man for a reason, he makes fun movies!
Rating – 7/10