Pixels is a 2015 science fiction comedy film starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, and Michelle Monaghan.
The story of Pixels goes something like this: Footage of various classic video arcade games is sent into outer space, where unknown extraterrestrials interpret the footage as a declaration of war. The aliens then unleash creatures onto Earth, which take the form of classic, pixelated video game characters such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, the dog and ducks from Duck Hunt, Q*bert, and so on.
Whether you have any sort of knowledge of these old, retro video games or not, it's hard not to at least chuckle at the premise of this film. You might look at Pixels as being one of those awesomely dumb (or is it dumbly awesome?) films that you watch strictly for pure entertainment purposes.
But then someone will tell you it stars Adam Sandler (*cue the groaning audience*) and nearly all of his comedic friends (Rob Schneider and David Spade, where are you?), and given Sandler's recent track record, you won't get your hopes up.
- The pixel effects. They look cool and it's hard not to feel slightly entertained when you see these pixel creatures (particularly Pac-Man) trampling buildings and cars. If you're a big retro gamer who grew up with these video games, you're bound to find something to point out and (maybe) laugh at too.
- The comedy. Is this a surprise? To be fair, the movie does boast a few moments that will certainly draw at least a few laughs, but these few moments are overshadowed by the many other lazy attempts at generating laughs, such as Peter Dinklage acting like a macho biker punk (very awkwardly at that), Kevin James being a total baffoon as the President of the United States (how he became President we'll never know), and Adam Sandler being...Adam Sandler. Would you believe me if I told you that Q*bert is the funniest character in the movie?
- The relationship between Adam Sandler and Michelle Monaghan's characters. There's no real chemistry between them. They first meet when Sandler goes over to Monaghan's house to help her son install a home cinema system. They "bond" when Sandler finds Monaghan crying in a closet, learning she is divorced, and from there, the two bicker and argue like a typical married couple would. It's one of those relationships that feels forced without taking the time to see what these two characters might have in common.
Overall, Pixels has a much different premise than what we've seen from past Sandler bombs, but sadly turns out to be just another flat-footed attempt at comedy that we've seen too often nowadays. Don't think cult status is in this film's future anytime soon.
Recommend? Nah, unless you're a big Adam Sandler fan and/or a die-hard fan of these retro arcade games.
Here you'll find my reviews on just about any film you may have seen. I try to avoid major spoilers as much as possible. I structure my reviews in the following way: