Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.
USA/China/Canada, 2015. Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital, China Film Co., Happy Madison Productions, 1492 Pictures, Film Croppers Entertainment. Screen story by Tim Herlihy, Screenplay by Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling, based on the short film by Patrick Jean. Cinematography by Amir Mokri. Produced by Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, Allen Covert, Mark Radcliffe, Adam Sandler. Music by Henry Jackman. Production Design by Peter Wenham. Costume Design by Christine Wada. Film Editing by Peck Prior, Hughes Winborne.
Concept comedy that assembles a huge cast, a big-time director and tons of cash for the visual effects: it all adds up to disaster in every possible way. Decades after coming in second at a video game world tournament, Adam Sandler is now a cable repairman while his best friend Kevin James is the President of the United States (which, even in a movie about an alien attack, somehow manages to make absolutely no sense). When aliens attack the Earth using weapons based on 1980s video games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, the best trained SEALs are useless while our schlubby hero becomes the expert to defeat the bad guys. Sandler, James, arch nemesis Peter Dinklage and conspiracy nut Josh Gad team up to save the world while gorgeous military official Michelle Monaghan (who could only be a love interest to Adam Sandler in an Adam Sandler movie) has to put up with Sandler’s barbs before falling madly in love with him. Bad visual effects, a bland script and a complete lack of chemistry between co-stars (sexual or non) add up to a waste of time that even casual viewers will get little out of. The only moment of joy is an inspired cameo by Serena Williams, while everyone else looks like they’re embarrassed at what they’re willing to do for money.