|The "Arcader" team|
Brenner ends up meeting a divorced mom, Violet (Michelle Monaghan) only through forced exposition of her son. What child talks to a stranger like that? There's also Ludlow's fantasy of being with Lady Lisa from a game he plays. Even Brenner's childhood rival Eddie wants to be with Martha Stewart and Serena Williams. All these threads tally up and just pad the film making the momentum slow down. Oh and don't forget the potty humor - a trademark of Happy Madison productions. There's also a series of plot contrivances that make no sense and a number of noticeable continuity errors that add to the confusion of how some video game characters are more developed than others are. A blatant example is Q*bert; how does he have a conscience but not Pac-Man? Even with these problems, this could've been tolerable if the characters were funny. Unfortunately very few are. Kevin James plays one of the goofiest presidents seen on screen and Josh Gad plays it mostly awkward the whole time.
Sandler occasionally spews out a line worth of a chuckle because he's trying to sound like an old timer, but it's not often. The rest of the time he just sounds like he's saying whatever came to mind at the time. It doesn't even matter that Sandler is cast with his usual buddies but at least switch up the role. His female co-star is equally sporadic. Dinklage just being snobby stuck up gamer was the best part. There are other appearances from credible actors like Brian Cox, and Sean Bean but they end up being wasted. It's sad that all these issues are just as powerful as the positives. For direction at least, Chris Columbus headed this project instead of Sandler's regulars. The visuals are a nice too. The special effects that make up the video game characters and how they pixilated the surroundings is wonderfully colorful. The director of photography was Amir Mokri (Man of Steel (2013) & Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)), a guy who has plenty of work dealing with blockbuster scope films.
|Q*bert's sad he wasn't used to his potential|
The good is equally countered by the bad. It has decent music, colorful special effects, clear cinematography and a large nostalgic factor based on its library of retro video games. Sadly all this is bogged down cliche casting and character development, hit and miss comedy and not enough focus on the video games.
Points Earned --> 5:10