2015 sci-fi action comedy
Plot: Aliens attack Earth after mistaking a video as a declaration of war, and send 80's video game characters to our planet to wreak havoc. It's up to President Kevin James and some video game aficionados to save the day.
Despite Adam Sandler's appearance, I thought this looked fun enough from the trailers. I was an 80's kid, so I'm firmly within the demographic this was made for. It is a fun idea, and the pixelated characters look really good contrasted against the realism of urban streets, London, and military bases. When Pacman, Donkey Kong, or Centipede is on the screen during the big action sequences, things are tolerable. At the climax, a wild attack that throws everything from Frogger to Paperboy. It's a scene that should be as orgasmic as the scene in Cabin in the Woods (you know the one), but by this point in the movie, you're a little tired.
It does sort of feel like an assault on your eyes and ears after a while though. I think my taste buds were even scorched at one point. And once that novelty wears off and transforms into something a little annoying, you realize that there's just not a lot here.
I am glad Max Headroom is finally getting work again though. And although the 80's references felt forced, it was nice seeing Herve Villechaize in this.
I don't think I want to live in a world where Kevin James is president. We're too close to a world where Donald Trump is. I suppose Kevin James as president is the joke there, but it's more terrifying than it is funny. Sandler plays the exact same character he always plays, a guy you don't really like at all who is trying desperately to be likable. Early scenes with Michelle Monaghan, because of course there has to be a love interest for no reason at all, seem to prove that neither Sandler or the people who wrote this have ever engaged in actual human interaction. Just check out a scene early on that takes place in a closet if you need any proof. Peter Dinklage is fine, but he tries very hard. Again, this is a movie that makes no reference to his size which is pretty amazing. I'm counting his spoken fantasy of Martha Stewart, Serena Williams, and him in the Lincoln Bedroom as a sex scene because it was definitely real to me. Dinklage's mulleted character was the most fun although he didn't have stiff competition. He reminded me, probably intentionally, of the guy in King of Kong.
The characters become even more irritating once we reach the point in the movie where they all start yelling every single one of their lines. That's at around the five-minute mark, I think.
This will hit you in your nostalgic sweet spot a few times, but the parts of it that are annoying are almost overwhelmingly annoying. In the end, Adam Sandler and bad writing are just too much to overcome.