You gotta admire Adam Sandler; he’s had maybe five critically well received films since 1990 (he’s appeared in roughly 50 movies in that time) yet every year he keeps coming back with more. He has to be the most resilient – or stubborn – man on the planet.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Critics don’t always get it right, and this is the case with Sandler’s latest offering PIXELS. There’s no point beating around the bush: 99.9% of critics have panned it….. Snobs!
PIXELS sees Adam Sandler playing his usual man-child character, this time in the form of nerdy arcade gamer Sam Brenner. When the world is threatened by aliens wielding military technology inspired by 80’s video games, Brenner must dust off his nerdy skills to save the planet.
Yep, the storyline is pretty ridiculous, but it immediately appealed to my nostalgic nature; the image of Pac-Man chomping his way down New York’s city streets was just too cool to resist…and let’s be honest, it’s no more far fetched than TRANSFORMERS or THE AVENGERS. We’re just as likely to be invaded by Tetris blocks as we are Decepticons.
Sandler is still capable of pulling star power, with a cast full of interesting cameos: Dan Akroyd, Sean Bean, tennis hotshot Serena Williams and Martha Stewart to name a few. He is also ably supported by a likeable comedic cast. Stand out performances by Josh Gad (Olaf from FROZEN) and Peter Dinklage (GAME OF THRONES) keep the laughs rolling, with both actors clearly relishing the opportunity to go all out with their absurd characterisation.
The FX are undeniably cool. As a pretty tame gamer in my day, I still got quite a rush seeing those Tetris blocks wreaking havoc *cough loser cough* there’s gotta be other, more dedicated players out there getting joy from seeing their childhood computer companions coming to life on the big screen….though apparently none of them have grown up to be film critics!
PIXELS follows the usual Sandler formula, with the gorgeous Michelle Monaghan playing his love interest this time around. There’s even the usual nods to Sandler’s earlier films.
It’s predictable, but still fun. Much like his character in PIXELS, Sandler has a pattern that he sticks to – it may not always be successful, but I feel it served him well this time around.
PIXELS is a fun and likeable comedy, to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. The film looks good (it’s worth seeing in 3D) and doesn’t quite deserve the bashing it’s getting by the film reviewing community. I laughed – lots! I rate it 6 stars.