So, you take a pretty good three-minute short that a lot of people loved and you turn it into a full-length movie. Hey, we’re Hollywood, we do this sort of thing all the time.
Of course, once you throw Adam Sandler into the mix, we know what we’re going to get: yet another Adam Sandler comedy. You know, blue collar underdog, not playing by the rules, triumphs over the snobs, that sort of thing.
The strange thing to me is that the obvious audience for this film is kids. Little kids as well as big ones, but still kids. So the presence of a lot of off-color humor feels off. But, heck, we know that grown-ups don’t bother checking out the films their kids watch anymore – and the theory is that this sort of humor gives the adults a reason to watch, if they get dragged along to the multiplex.
It is curious, however, in this day and age, to see a gag based on the “a year later” cliche that was already ripe for savage mockery at the time Buster Keaton made his first shorts in the 20s.
So it’s spectacular (although the climax is probably too busy to really be effective), the effects are good and there are a few laughs (even if not enough to go around). And for those of us who grew up in the 80s, it’s good to see a lot of the old games again (although why Space Invaders failed to show up is hard to understand)).
But you’d still be better off watching the original short.