Pixels (2015) Review

pixels

When an extraterrestrial force receives a time capsules containing popular video games from the 80s (Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, etc.), they mistake this as a threat. They send giant replicas of these video game characters to destroy Earth. It is now up to a trio of video game nerds to use their smarts and skills of the games in order to defeat the characters and save the world.

The newest Adam Sandler film is one that has received a lot of flack. Many of Sandler’s recent flicks have been major duds, so one can expect nothing but hate. I will step up to say that this is easily Sandler’s best films in quite a while. The plot is very simple and fun, and one that many gamers and older adults who played the depicted games will love. I’m neither but I had a blast with this film. As I said the story is extremely fun and engaging, albeit extremely cheesy and over-the-top, but irregardless it’s enjoyable. It features many good laughs, nothing gut-busting, but it has its typical Adam Sandler quirky lines, but it doesn’t get carried away with them. Many of Sandler’s character’s comments are genuinely hilarious, especially the back and forths between him and Michelle Monaghan’s character. But what stands out the most in this film is the excellent special effects. It does an amazing job of capturing the animation of the video games of the past and bringing them to life, with sound effects and all. Despite the “disaster movie” plot, the people behind this paid a great amount of tribute and respect to the games and their characters with their placement in the story. Though, it may not be top-notch perfect. It features many great action sequences and the effects, along with some of the song choices make them really entertaining and fairly mind-blowing. I admit I’m bummed I didn’t get to see this in 3D because I’m sure it would have been amazing. As stated above Adam Sandler does essentially play another form of himself, but this time he actually plays himself as a character would could almost relate to, someone who wants more from their life and wants to achieve something, but feel they’re lacking. Of course Sandler is hilarious in his lines and as a character, but doesn’t get over the top crazy like his recent roles. Sandler shares some pretty solid chemistry with Michelle Monaghan’s character as our lead female. Admittedly I’m not a huge fan of Monaghan, but she does a fine job here and does well with the comedic moments. The bickering between her and Sandler and genuinely humorous and enjoyable to watch. Kevin James plays the president this time around and really doesn’t have that many comical moments, and barely a major character in the film at that. Josh Gad, is the weakest link of the cast. I found him and his character annoying and pointless and served the purpose of having a beyond nerdy and pathetic character. Peter Dinklage also provides some humor as the ex-prisoner gamer, who is also Sandler’s character’s enemy. Dinklage ranks up with Sandler as far as his good one-liners.

Pixels isn’t an “amazing” or “perfect” movie by any means, but it is definitely entertaining. As a summer popcorn flick is succeeds a great scale. Fun story and characters, excellent special effects, and fine performances from its character. It’s also a huge breath of fresh air from recent Sandler pictures.

4/5

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