The first sign of a slow news day in Critics Corner is that movie reviewers have actually taken the the time to watch and then to write about the new Adam Sandler bomb, Pixels, which came out Thursday to whatever is the opposite of rave reviews.
The list of complaints about the film are not quite endless – sexist, dull, poorly acted, script from Hell – but the droll pattern is fun to find. We critics are told “there must be good about something in every film or smart people wouldn’t have made it,” which seems to have left many scratching their heads looking for the obscure, well-deserved compliment. Best yet: The title is short, so this review will be, too.
That said, in my rundown of reviews, I’ve read that the score for the movie – a “who’s who of 70s and early 80s pop and rock hits” is kind of “decent,” a pronouncement that scares me just a little bit, and that the basic premise of the movie has some potential. What? This is a movie about aliens invading Earth because they misinterpreted a few moronic arcade games (Pac-Man and Donkey Kong among them) as aggressive and hostile, so they created larger than life versions of these games to do us in.
Anyone who thinks this is a good start to a movie should take less or more of the drug that convinced them this was true and hope things change for them very quickly.
The film’s cast is comprised of a who’s who of never-to-be-nominated actors (Kevin James, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage) and misinformed celebrities (Martha Stewart and Serena Wiliams) and friends of Sandler’s, like Dan Ackroyd, who dropped in to add some spice to the expensive calamity in the making.
The film, which cost about $90 million, was put together by Sandler’s own Happy Madison Production, which is code for Sandler appears incapable of getting a part from anyone else these days. One can only hope that someone tosses the other Sandler-era Saturday Night Life cast member Will Ferrell into the same embers. The sooner we see less of these two, the better. Sandler’s stoner-turned affable loser routine has run its course. Ferrell’s donkey-faced braying routine, one can only hope, will soon do the same.