Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan
Sometimes a film comes along that is so bad that it lowers the bar on Hollywood filmmaking. The omens weren’t good: Pixels has made a pathetic $45m at the US box office as I write this and sometimes audiences get it right. Adam Sandler plays Brenner, a nerd who was a competitive video gamer in his youth but it all ended when he was seemingly beaten by rival Eddie (Peter Dinklage). The film begins in the eighties where we see Brenner lose to Eddie and we are introduced to his friend Cooper (Kevin James). We flash forward to the present day, where Brenner is now working for a Best Buy type electrical retailer and unbelievably Cooper is president of the United States. Brenner meets Violet (Michelle Monaghan) and predictably they fall for each other later on. Then aliens appear and challenge the Earth to video-game related battles where characters like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong are brought to life. Of course, with all of the skills they had as kids, Brenner, Eddie and his friend Ludlow (Josh Gad) , they are invaluable in the battle against the aliens. The one positive is that the video game characters are brought to life stylishly and they do look impressive on screen. However, the script stinks like a rotten camembert and the plot is unbelievably stupid and telegraphed. Sandler is awful, but at least he’s consistent, as is the rest of the cast including James and Monaghan. You do wonder why Dinklage, who is excellent in Game of Thrones, is here. Pixels is a very bad pastiche of an awful eighties movie with atrocious performances, an abysmal script and misplaced nostalgia that no-one will care about. I’d like my hour and three quarters back please.