Pixels is a reprehensible mess of an ’80s nostalgia trip.
When aliens attack Earth using technology based on classic arcade games, a team of elite retro gamers are assembled to combat the invaders.
Adam Sandler (who co-produces and stars in this film) has been a near-constant embarrassment for the past decade or more, and Pixels is yet another barrage of obnoxious Sandler tropes.
Sandler plays, yet again, an inconsiderate, charmless jerk who is somehow universally liked and attracts beautiful women. Kevin James (a frequent Sandler collaborator) is essentially a walking fat-joke.
The film is full of irritating cultural stereotypes and forced, drawn-out humor, and alternates flippantly between fondness for classic gaming and disdainful mocking of its nerd main characters
The pacing is abysmally slow and erratic, and while the video game-inspired action scenes (including Pacman’s rampage through New York) are vibrant and entertaining, they’re too scarce and not worth slogging through all the crassness and ineptitude throughout the rest of the film.
As far as movies based on video games go, Hitman: Agent 47 – stupidly written yet incredibly stylish – is much better.
Among this year’s stinkers, Aloha is worse than Pixels only because it aims higher, attempting touching drama about family relationships, and fails even more miserably.
Pixels: avoid at all costs.