I’m more divided on Pixels than on any other blockbuster hitting screens this summer. On one hand, it boasts Chris Columbus at the helm, and initial trailers have made the alien-invasion action-comedy seem like quite a lot of fun. But on the other hand, it has both Adam Sandler and Kevin James, two of the most detestable comedians working in Hollywood today. Here’s hoping that their distinctively lazy brand of comedy doesn’t derail the movie.
In honor of the 35th anniversary of Pac-Man, Sony has unveiled a new clip from the flick, which isn’t really anything more than an extension of a scene we already saw in one of the film’s earlier trailers, involving Denis Akiyama as Pac-Man creator Tōru Iwatani. Still, it’s the only moment from the preview that really warranted any laughs, so there’s no harm in the studio sending it our way once more.
Here’s the official synopsis for Pixels:
When intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Dinklage and Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Sony’s likely lucrative premise of gamers teaming up to save the world from alien interpretations of classic video game figures, but the casting choices for the movie are inescapably disappointing. Sandler and James deliver the same performances again and again, whatever movie they’re in, and though Dinklage has proven himself a cut above the rest on Game of Thrones, there’s little chance he’ll get anything truly dramatic to do here.
What’s most frustrating, though, is the lack of real female representation – Michelle Monaghan has the main female role as an uptight lieutenant who follows the rules and doesn’t believe in the gamers’ abilities (but of course, the couch-dwelling guys are ultimately the only ones who can save the world). Would it have been too much to ask for Pixels to feature one gamer girl? And no, I don’t mean Ashley Benson’s scantily clad Lady Lisa, from video game Dojo Quest.
Nevertheless, Pixels opens July 24.