Pixels is one of those movies I want to like, but seriously, there were just too many factors that screwed it over.
So Pixels is a what-if scenario, where aliens challenge Earth to a real life video-game competition, best 2 out of 3, and if Earth loses, it's destroyed. Adam Sandler and co are the players and the aliens are basically...80s videogame characters.
Basically, I want to like this scenario. It seems quirky enough and interesting enough. However, the execution really...really falls flat on its face. I mean, just look at the characters. There's Adam Sandler in his usual role of down-on-his-luck loser and Kevin James as a nerdy president, which I felt was a bold choice. And then there's everyone else, who's vaguely important enough to be in the movie but felt more like their parts were forced in just to meet some cliche. Such as Michelle Monaghan, who feels like she's there just to be Sandler's love interest. Then there's her kid, as someone for Sandler to bond with. Then there's the crazy conspiracy nut who's there because that's how society views videogamers sometimes.
In all honesty, this film could have done just fine with 2 characters, the two childhood buddies of Sandler and James. It didn't need any romance, it didn't need any children for them to bond with. Heck, it didn't even need one of them to be a loser who would suddenly get his groove back during the course of the movie. It could have been the film version of Captain N, where someone gets to be a video game main character in real life.
However, despite all that, the film does manage to be fairly upbeat and comically entertaining in the first half. However, in the second half...everything goes to hell. It was as if the film just lost focus and decided to just say 'screw it, we want these scenes to happen so we're going to just throw them in for no reason'. Like the sudden Video Game invasion(how does one even input a cheat code in a real life analogue version of Pacman? How???), to the very very cringe-worthy scene where Gads character met this videogame character (or waifu) he had been crushing on since his childhood and somehow convinces her to fight for humanity. Despite having never met her before. There are no words to describe just how cringe-worthy that scene was.
Overall, if the film had continued its pacing from the first half, I would at least say this was a decent film that was mediocre but not horribly messed up. However, it didn't and it's not.