Pixels: Latest Silly Comedy from Adam Sandler, Signaling Further Decline

I am curious to know who are the followers of Adam Sandler’s movies? I would bet his fan base largely consist of very young, very indiscriminating male viewers?

Directed by Christopher Columbus, his latest lame comedy, Pixels, is based on one simple idea: an alien invasion of Earth by classic arcade game characters such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede and Space Invaders.

Our grade: c- (* out of *****)

A restro romp, suffused with notalgia, in the worst sense of this term, the story, which is credited to Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling, and Sandler himself, is fittingly set in the 1980s, during the conservative, right-wing Reagan era.

Pixels is actually inspired by a French short film of 2010–only three minutes–which explain why this 106-minute version feels overstretched and overbloated, overstaying its welcome by at least 15 minutes or so.

As kids in that decade, Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant (Peter Dinklage) engaged in saving the world from catastrophe efficiently and inexpensively–at 25 cents per game–in the video arcades.

But now, they have decided that they have to do it for “real.”  Opportunity knocks when when intergalactic aliens discover video feeds of classic arcade games and misconceive them as a blatant and aggressive declaration of war.

As a result, they attack the Earth, using the familiar video games as the models for their assaults.

The crisis reaches the heighest echelon, when U.S. President Cooper must call on his old-school arcade friends to save the world from being destroyed by PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Centipede, and Space Invaders.

The beautiful (and underestimated) Michelle Monaghan plays Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten, a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.

Commercial Appeal

The opening of Adam Sandler comedy Pixels is heading for a moderate $25 million opening weekend in the U.S.

Sony’s “Pixels” is on track for roughly $10 million at 3,723 locations on its opening day, leaving it in line with recent projections in the mid-20s.

Pixels also wastes the talents of such actors as Kevin James, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad, who have done good work on the big and small screen.

Sony, which has had a tough year so far with “Aloha” and “Chappie,” has had only one release hit $100 million domestically at the box office since last summer (“The Equalizer”).

Sony might break even with Pixels which, inexplicably, carries the high pricetag of $88 million.

Credits:

Direted by Christopher Columbus

Screenplay: Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler, Timothy Dowling

MPAA Rating PG-13

Running Time 106 Minutes