Sci-fi/Comedy, 106 Minutes, 2015
As part of our Extra-Life 2015 Marathon our team, The Vidiots, raised hundreds of dollars for sick kids and, as a unwarranted slap in the face, we made them watch this. They were protected, somewhat, by the portable games they were playing, but several still suffered terribly.
Forget the basic ideas. Thirty year-old skills in classic games do not translate into action movie-esque weapons, driven and acrobatic skills. Cheat codes simply do not work in real life. It’s very unlikely that the president would go out and get drunk with his buddies in the middle of an alien attack. It’s very likely that the president might, at least once, try to talk to with attacking aliens.
Yes, this is a horrible movie. We can all agree that goes without saying. It does, however, do two things incredibly well:
Firstly, it wastes talent with a truly astounding, military efficiency. There are good actors in this movie, very good actors. Sure, we don’t expect all that much from Adam Sandler [IMDB] or Kevin James [IMDB] at this point. They phone in the same performances that they’ve phoned in a dozen times over. Josh Gad [IMDB] plays Josh Gad, and is lucky that we’re not as sick of him as we are of the other two. But there are other people here; people capable of so much more!
Easing in: Jane Krakowski [IMDB] is one of the funniest comedic actresses in a generation of tremendously funny ladies. She’s regulated to nearly mute role as a background prop. Michelle Monaghan [IMDB] came off a moving, critically acclaimed, performance in True Detective to play a bland, lifeless mannequin. Sean Bean [IMDB] is used as a mindless caricature. Brian Cox [IMDB] is thrown-away as a dime-store George C Scott.
Peter Dinklage [IMDB] is also in this movie. He had a huge role. He was terrible. This is insane because he’s amazing. I’d blame the director, but it’s Chris Columbus [IMDB], people! Somebody – or some thing – clearly wasted his talent as well! We’re threats involved? Drugs? Hostages?!
Secondly, and more importantly, it crushes your hopes like it was specifically designed to do it. Like NASA put its top minds on killing your dreams. It constantly brushes up against something worthwhile, something worthy of true nostalgia and feeling – then quickly, deftly and ruthlessly shits all over it before anything like real emotion is allowed to set in.
They bring a classic character on screen and your heart perks up just long enough for them to do something so stupid, you cringe. They give us Q-bert! Then give us Q-bert pissing himself. Then Q-bert inexplicably changes into a hot (and completely unpixelated) super model. They have Queen in the soundtrack and even that doesn’t help!
This was meant to be a fun, nostalgic lark for the arcade generation. It ended up a total, steaming pile of shit. It even fails as a “so bad it’s fun” movie. We started watching with a dozen people and only three stuck it out for the whole thing. Run far and fast from this.