Written by / 7/24/2015 / No comments / , , , ,

ADAM SANDLER STARRING IN PIXELS

2015 rating: ***1/2
While THE WEDDING SINGER took us literally back to the '80s, that era's beloved video games are the centerpiece in PIXELS, and they're no longer safely locked inside an arcade game. Something has happened as a hostile planet, misreading a transmission where Adam Sander participated in a video game competition, takes the form of havoc-wreaking creatures like CENTIPEDE, PAC MAN and DONKEY KONG.

One nice surprise, given the usual banality of the latter Happy Madison productions, is the "legit" technical setup moving from one scene to the next, feeling like an INDEPENDENCE DAY meets GHOSTBUSTERS: serious matters combined with the buddy/teamup genre as Sandler, a tech repair guy, his best friend Kevin James, now the President of the United States, join with eccentric gamers Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage and love interest Michelle Monaghan to battle the suddenly nefarious pixelated icons wherein Pac Man's New York rampage is an action sequence standout (director Chris Columbus at the helm).

Meanwhile, the characters go from region to region, figuring things out with a lot of busy, often redundant banter. But even the slow parts have a decent amount of witty interplay between participants. Some of the jokes fall flat, sure, but it doesn't matter since another nostalgic curio is around every bend, and it's neat seeing those classic games playing (by their actual rules) outside the box.
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