If you have very little knowledge of the upcoming Adam Sandler and Kevin James comedy Pixels, in which alien forces invade Earth in the guise of 80’s video game characters, the most recent trailer will certainly give you the aesthetic that the movie is attempting to capture. However, this trailer is likely very bad news, especially in light of the previously released trailers for this movie. The film itself certainly looks interesting, but for me it is difficult to tell which group of talent I should use to gauge the promise of the movie. Further I fear that the repetitive nature of this second trailer will anticipate the paucity of original jokes when the film releases.
The stars of the film definitely do not inspire confidence in their comedic chops, especially given their most recent offerings, but side characters like Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage could rescue the humor to an extent. Chris Columbus, director of the first two Harry Potter movies, helms this picture, and he really has not stood out in any positive way since perhaps Mrs. Doubtfire in the late 1990s. Put simply: the talent organized for this film feels very haphazard and likely will produce a few laughs, but I doubt that these will be sustained in any entertaining way.
This second trailer is only slightly longer than the earlier trailer, and except for some additional background on some of the characters, is almost the exact same, offering up most of the same jokes as we’ve already seen. Now, perhaps this is because the marketing department is patiently saving most of the good jokes for the release of the film, but maybe it is because this is all that they have at their disposal. Given the reputation of Sandler and James, I am comfortable assuming the latter. Pixels appears as though it may have a laugh or two, but will ultimately be forgettable. Many great filmmakers have used CGI-based special effects as a crutch to hide a lack of quality storytelling and content, and I fear that Pixels is the continuation of that phenomenon in the comedy genre.