Two out of five stars
Adam Sandler doesn’t care what you think. If he did, "Pixels" would be a meaningful comedy filled with hilarious observations about the world in which we live.
Instead, it’s just every other Adam Sandler comedy you've ever seen, with a "Ghostbusters" filter screwed on.
Sandler plays Sam Brenner, a former world video game champion contender -- and by contender, we mean in 1982, he lost. Fast-forward to now: Sam's 46 and works as a Geek Squad-type home TV installation tech. In an uninspired piece of writing, they essentially replace the word “geek” with “nerd." Sam's work attire includes a shirt emblazoned with "The Nerd," just in case we don't get the point that he's a nerd.
This is a place where I tell you Kevin James was Sam's video-game loving childhood friend, who grows up to be president of the United States. That's right. Except he's really Kevin James playing every Kevin James character we've ever seen him play.
But as easy as it is to destroy "Pixels" for being lazy and wasteful of a somewhat interesting concept, I will say this: If you haven’t grown tired of Adam Sandler or Kevin James’ shtick, then you'll probably be entertained. A little. If you're intrigued by the images from the trailer of Pac-Man chomping his way through New York City streets and Centipede attacking from the sky, you'll probably enjoy those scenes.
But if you’re looking for a profound message about pop culture and gaming culture, filled with witty, intelligent dialogue, just remember: This is an Adam Sandler movie, and he doesn't care what you think.