August 6, 2015

Pixels (2015)

Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad

Once upon a time, Adam Sandler was a comedic god. He made ridiculous movies that were juvenile but hilarious and people paid to watch, like Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, and (my personal favorite) Happy Gilmore. Then his fans grew up, and he was still making juvenile movies that were no longer hilarious, but people still inexplicably paid for, like Grown-Ups (and it's disastrous sequel), That's My Boy, and Jack and Jill.

In a way, I don't fully blame him for all the horrible movies he's put out. For one thing, someone keeps financing them. For another, people obviously still pay money to watch him do the same schtick with weird voices and childish toilet humor. If McConaughey can do Lincoln commercials for the money, why can't Sandler make terrible movies? After all, someone's got to keep David Spade employed. 

This movie marks a departure for him. Not in a wildly different (and tragic) direction, like Punch Drunk Love, but in a way that manages to be entertaining to people with an IQ above 70 points. I wasn't a gamer as a kid, but I certainly enjoyed the occasional Pac-Man game and my aunt and uncle had an Asteroids arcade machine in their basement. I know enough about video games to appreciate the nostalgia this movie invokes. I also watch enough movies to recognize and appreciate an original idea when I see one.

This movie is creative. Wildly, I daresay. Video games attacking the Earth? Light guns as weapons? Kevin James as president? Adam Sandler finally playing a part that doesn't ask us to pretend he's a successful doctor? It's all pretty out there. And without Sandler's trademark tangent jokes and without Rob Schneider, this movie manages to be pretty good. Sure, he still has himself snag a girl that is beyond out of his league, and it's completely creepy to watch Josh Gad make-out with well, anyone, especially a video game character, but hey, these are the guys for whom anime porn was created!

Final word: If you can overcome your hatred for Sandler, you might actually enjoy this.

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