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Directed by: Chris Columbus
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad
Adam Sandler is one of those actors that I loved when I was young but not so much now. I still get a kick out of the likes of Happy Gilmour, Billy Madison, The Waterboy and Big Daddy, but there’s always turd sandwiches like Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Jack & Jill (history was made with the latter where Adam won both worst actor and actress). He’s a mixed bag of an actor in all honesty. I’m also a huge video game fan, especially of the classics like Super Mario Brother, Pac Man and Tetris. I remember the time when I introduced my cousin to Pac Man and talked about how when I was young (‘when I was young’, Christ I’m only 28) I used to go down the arcades with my mates to play this. He looked at me as if I’ve just pissed my pants (according to Billy Madison, you’re not cool unless you pee your pants) and continued to play that Call of Duty thingy all the young ‘uns are talking about!
Adam Sandler’s recent roles have drawn much criticism over the years, surely this can’t be much worse, right?
In 1982, NASA sent video feeds of classic arcade games to aliens in an attempt to communicate with them, however, the aliens misinterpret this as a declaration of war and attack Earth using the video game characters seen in the video. President Will Cooper (Kevin James) knows that he need to fight off the aliens using a similar strategy so he recruits his childhood friend and video game champion, Sam Brenner (Sandler), to lead a group comprised of arcade video game players and military specialist, Violet van Patten (Monaghan) to fight off the alien forces.
I failed to mention this in my introduction that a few guys at work wrote this film off and challenged me to watch it (I’ve got a bit of a cult following when it comes to reviewing films). A lot of reviews have been negative and I’ve got to be honest here guys, I disagree with them.
I actually enjoyed this.
For the first time since Click, I actually worked away from an Adam Sandler film in a positive mood.
It does have its typical ‘Sandler-isums’ with the cheesy writing and over the top comedy, but the story does have a very light-hearted approach within the context of a world that would probably never happen. I will give credit to the CGI, it deserves the recognition. It does have its funny moments, most of which come from Peter Dinklage, and the acting was sound. Sean Bean appears as a member of the British military and yes, he does speak in his broad, gruff south Yorkshire accent. Can he even do any accents? Let me know in the comments below.
There are some plot holes that I have to address, it’s impossible to enter ‘cheat codes’ for an arcade game and being able to do that whiles going unnoticed in front of a large audience. Also, trained soldiers can’t hit a target properly whiles someone who is untrained can simply pick up a heavy weapon and nail every target in sight because of their ‘video game experience’? That’s unrealistic even in a comedy where Donkey Kong and Pac Man are invading Earth!
The good outweighs the bad. I wouldn’t rush out and see it, but it’s worth a shot when the DVD becomes available.
I enjoyed if for all its worth and this is the type of film that will appeal to you old school gamers out there.
Rating: *** (Aye, it’s canny like)