I thought a lot about just what made this one such a downer for me, and concluded, sadly, that it was the presence of Adam Sandler. The man has committed so many felonious film “comedies” that even when he appears in a mere misdemeanor I can’t get the bad taste out of my mouth. That self-satisfied little smirk on his face, the way he grins at his own lame jokes … ugh. I just want to slap him around a little.
The movie is not actually terrible, though it’s not very good. In the 1980s a space probe was sent out with video of some arcade games. It was intercepted by aliens, who thought it was real, and developed weapons to fight the evil Earth creatures, weapons based on Donkey Kong, Centipede, Pac-Man, and other classics of the era. The idea is not actually new. There was The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Galaxy Quest, where aliens believe that a Star Trek-like TV show is in fact real. Anyway, three dudes from the ‘80s are called up as the best people to deal with the invasion. One of them, naturally, is the offensive man-child played by Sandler, who hasn’t gone anywhere in life. The other is the fat kid (Kevin James) who wasn’t any good at anything but now, inexplicably and not very funnily, is the president of the U.S. I don’t think either of these assholes are funny. For some real talent we have to wait for the arrival of Peter Dinklage, slumming from his genius work in Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, it’s a long wait.
The chief attraction here is, no surprise, the special effects. It is all very colorful, maybe the most colorful movie I’ve seen since The Lego Movie. It’s all done very well. I’m wondering, has anyone developed an app whereby you could plug someone else’s faces and voices into the images of Sandler and James? The movie would improve 1000%.