In a time where cinema is more unoriginal than ever, with reboots and sequels and adaptions after the other, Pixels is the silver lining, boasting a premise as ingenious as they come. With Christopher Colombus at the helm, this is a film bursting with potential but just how good is it?

Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad) and Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage) were the best arcade video gamers of their generation, back when they were teenagers. Having grown up and moved on, their skills are called upon when video game-like aliens attack the Earth, when a video being sent to space to let other races know of their peaceful existence - featuring our world's classic video game icons - is misinterpreted and taken as a declaration of war. Sending down alien life forms in the appearance of these classic video games - like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Centipede - the military has to join forces with Brenner, Cooper, Lamonsoff and Plant to battle to save the world.

The premise is ingenious: video game nerds have to use their skills and expertise to defeat real, life-size, deadly video game characters. It sounds clever but also fun and nostalgic for everyone who loves video games. Then, you attach Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire and the first two Harry Potter films director Chris Colombus to take the helm of this project and it should be one of the highlights of the Summer. Unfortunately, this is quite the opposite. This is one of the worst films of the Summer, let alone anything else. Colombus has done an awful job directing this film.
For a comedy, the biggest problem with Pixels is just how unfunny a film it is, with all the jokes falling flat and never hitting. It's your typical Adam Sandler schtick but we've seen it so many times now that it's even more lame and cringe-worthy than in any of his previous fart-bomb pictures. Kevin James also does his usual Kevin James thing here: being stupid. All the attempts at humour feel so crammed in and forced and come off as awkward and just lousy. There's supposed to be an element of fun to the proceedings but, instead, this is a dull, tedious and boring film to sit through - ultimately down to how nothing works. Nothing of interest ever happens.

On top of the comedy being bad, it doesn't help that the characters are so one-dimensional and unlikeable. There's not a single good performance here. Josh Gad is always screaming and it's incredibly irritating. Adam Sandler once was a great comedian but, in recent years, he has just done the same shit over and over again and Pixels isn't bucking the trend yet. Also, his relationship with Michelle Monaghan feels forced. Kevin James plays the president and it is the most dumb element of this picture and he's the most unbelievable of all the characters. Not even Peter Dinklage can save this picture (although he's the best thing about it). There's no chemistry between the group either, to make matters worst. They're all bland and never fleshed out enough.

Pixels is an atrocity. It's unfunny. It's stupid. It's actually cringe-worthy. It's boring. The action sequences are just as much so, poorly shot and big and bloated. The scenes involving the video game characters laying waste to the world can occasionally be fun to watch but they're so few and can't redeem what is, overall, a terrible film. The faults of this are mainly down to the mawkishly written, excuse of a script. The dialogue and execution of the premise is so awful that any moments of potential are already dead in the water. There's no direction to this film; it's as if Christopher Colombus couldn't even be arsed. In fact, it's as if no one could be bothered working on this film and were just there for their paychecks. Do the world a favour, don't waste your hard-earned cash on this pile of garbage that calls itself a film. It's not worth it.

VERDICT:
With all the potential riding on this, it's disappointing that the only thing I can say about the bland and tedious Pixels is that it's just another, generic and bad Adam Sandler film. Don't waste your hard-earned cash.
★☆☆☆

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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