This morning, Rotten Tomatoes announced that Pixels was the third worst reviewed film of the summer.
The movie I saw wasn't "great," but it was better than Hot Pursuit, Aloha, Self/Less or Poltergeist. In fact, while it was mediocre from an artistic point of view, I found it diverting, even entertaining. It carried me along.
Listen, I'm with the rest of you; Adam Sandler pisses me off. First he gives us Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer, then all of a sudden everything turns into Little Nicky.
Back to Pixels.
The story is pretty simple. In 1982, NASA sends a satellite into space packed with good old wholesome 1980s culture. Now, in a weird present day in which Kevin James is the president of the United States, an alien culture attacks Earth using the "video game warriors" we sent to their planet thirty years earlier.
Hence, you get Galaga, Centipede, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Arkanoid, Robotron 2084 and a host of other classic games attacking New York, London, Agra and Washington D.C.
One thing Pixels does right is throw classic games at you. Watch closely and you'll see cameos by Mario and Dig Dug dragon along with all the forefront games like Galaga,
|The real Toru Iwatani as he appears in the film|
The cast of Pixels is good. The cast may include too many people with the last name "Sandler," but the main Pixelbusters include Kevin James, Josh Gad, Michelle Monaghan and Peter Dinklage. Gad is always fun to watch and Monaghan is so likable. Kevin James is a good comedian, but he's generally too far over the top when he pals around with Sandler. He succumbs to that urge in Pixels.
|Peter Dinkage channeling his inner Billy Mitchell|
|Arcade-ledend Billy Mitchell|
And Sandler himself... well, on the Wedding Singer--Grown Ups 2 scale, this performance rates about a Waterboy. I'd give it a B- because he's not so far over the top and, like everything else about this movie, he's generally entertaining.
So consider me among the 18 percent who liked Pixels... sort of. I give it a solid C+, or a 78 percent for the back to the school crowd.