Given Adam Sandler’s recent track record–Grown Ups 2, Blended, The Cobbler, Jack and Jill–do I really need to tell you that Pixels is bad? Fine. It’s bad. Really, really bad.
Don’t be lured in, fellow nerds, by the Pac-Man or the Dinklage. Granted, the effects are neat, and Dinklage is by the far best actor here because he out and out commits to being a mulleted weirdo. But none of it is worth sitting through 105 minutes of Sandler testing how uninterested he can be before director Chris Columbus pulls him aside and says something about it. Lines like “I got this. If I don’t, the world ends. Can’t let that happen” (screenwriters Tim Herlily and Timothy Dowling, folks!) are bad enough, but when they’re spoken by someone who sounds like he’s halfway to a coma, it’s just insulting.
I would re-watch any of these five terrible movies before giving Pixels a second shot.
A Venom-infected Peter Parker might slap Mary Jane in The Movie That Killed the Spider-Franchise (for, like, five years), but at least it’s not Pixels, where Josh Gad’s character wins a woman as a prize, and no one thinks that’s maybe a little screwed up.
Screwed up Jean Grey’s Phoenix storyline, one of the most iconic arcs in all of comic book history? Yes. Screwed up my Sean Bean and Fiona Shaw love by featuring them in wince-inducing cameos? No. Bean, especially, has been in some crap, but Jupiter Ascending is Mad Max: Fury Road compared to Pixels.
Dungeons & Dragons
No one has ever sucked quite like Jeremy Irons sucked in Dungeons & Dragons, but at least he sucked entertainingly. A mere tenth of a percent of the scenery-chewing insanity Irons put into playing the evil Profion would have elevated Sandler, who could not give less of a shit if he tried here, to the level of “moderately drowsy.”
Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace
Jar Jar Binks got a lot of flak for (among many other things) his quasi-Jamaican accent, which for many took him into the realm of racial stereotype. But–to quote a wise man–at least it’s an ethos. I have no clue what the hell Dinklage was going for, accent-wise. He wasn’t helping me pin it down, either, because it kept changing from scene to scene. But, like I said, at least Dinklage tried to do something interesting with his character, because he’s a professional and he does his damn job. Maybe the Magic Eye accent was intentional on his part*, cooked up as a part of a character study about how he’s playing a scumbag who always presents himself as being something other than what he is. Meanwhile, Sandler barely remembers to wipe the Cheeto dust off his cargo shorts before call time.
*It is probably not.
Batman & Robin
Batman & Robin has puns! Pixels has one of the most obnoxious child actors in recent history. I’d rather see Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Michelle Monaghan’s precocious video-game loving son than the adorkable (BRB, throwing up in my mouth) ginger they ended up getting. Actually, that’s not saying much–I’d want to see Arnie playing someone’s pre-teen video game nerd son in just about any movie, because that would be hilarious and novel. OK, take two: I would rather George Clooney’s rubber nipples have played that kid.
The Last Airbender
Nope. I found my limit.