“Pixels” Review

I have seen Hell. I have been to that place of eternal suffering. The gnashing of teeth has been confirmed. The evil, torturous being known as “The Devil” is real, though he was much more unfunny man-child than fiery overlord . The flames have been exaggerated (they are just sub-par CGI), but the pain is certainly real. I have been to Hell and thank God it was only for 106 minutes. Yes, I have been to Hell… and it is Pixels.

Now, to be clear, I don’t usually watch a lot of terrible movies. I have come to the point in my life where I really know what I want out of a film and can usually know right off the bat whether I will like a film. Still, Pixels was receiving such a vitriolic response that I just had to see what all the fuss was about. I honestly didn’t realize how bad it could truly be…

The men responsible for this assault on human decency are director Chris Columbus and un-funnyman Adam Sandler. Now, it’s no secret that Adam Sandler in recent years has not been doing the greatest. He hasn’t had a truly great (or even good) film in years. I, thankfully, have avoided most of his recent films (unfortunately I was subjected to That’s My Boy), so maybe I just wasn’t prepared for how low he has really sunk.

Pixels is an assault on its audience. Not only is the sound mixing during the action scenes deafening and annoying, but the dialogue is tacky and uninspired. There were entire scenes laden with what the screenwriters apparently thought were jokes that elicited no more than a groanor a yawn.

I will say, visually, Pixels did some interesting things though. The CGI, while sub-par at best, fit the film they were trying to make and some of the camera direction added a little flair to the film. That being said, it was still quite uninspired, and the content of each frame ruined any glimmer of hope found in the visuals.

When the film wasn’t featuring Adam Sandler’s five jokes he uses in every movie, it was insulting the British (Ha! Ha! You say funny words we don’t understand), giving Peter Dinklage the most unintelligible accent, making random cultural references with no context, and violating any sense of logic and telling you you’re just supposed to go along with it. The film confused Josh Gad screaming at the top of his lungs with comedy while also offensively playing his character’s homo-erotic tendencies for laughs. Plus Pixels features a fairly racist black soldier character who’s only function is to yell to the white dude to save him.

It is clearly a film made by a bunch of white, straight Americans who should know better but obviously don’t. It’s not like I am surprised that this came from the guy who recently offended his Native American cast members, I’m just disappointed.

If there is anything good I can say about the film, it is that at least it didn’t make a Kevin James “I’m fat!” joke, but that is completely overshadowed by the fact that they expect me to believe that James is the President. I mean, who’s he supposed to be Chris Christie? No… Just No…

I think the thing that has really sparked the tremendous outpouring of hatred for Pixels is not only that it is a terrible film, but that it could have been so much better. The broad strokes of cinematic awesomeness are there. I mean, Aliens attacking us with video games is a pretty sweet concept, but Sandler and his buddies just screwed it all up for the rest of us.

So please, just stop supporting Adam Sandler, America. This is why we can’t have nice things! We keep giving him money and he keeps taking giant dumps in our theaters and then calls them movies. This weekend, fight for your right to see good cinema by not seeing Pixels.