2015 / Director. Chris Columbus.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The world had it in for PIXELS from the get go and the film never stood a chance. People were slamming it before it even opened in cinemas and minds were made up that it was one of the worst movies ever made. Fuck that and fuck those people (talk about audacity).
This is the latest Adam Sandler movie that also stars Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Michelle Monaghan. When an alien race intercept a signal full of retro 1980's video games, they misinterpret it as a threat and launch a full scale assault on Earth, setting actual giant game characters upon major cities of the world. With the threat of global annihilation at stake, the government has no choice but to engage in some serious game-play and calls in three former world arcade champions and sets about playing the ultimate video game.
Okay, so I'm not going to be one of those cynical, wanky dickheads that tears this one to shreds simply because it's an Adam Sandler movie. I did the logical thing and approached it as, err, an ADAM SANDLER MOVIE! Fans of his are going to lap this one up and gamers ought to get a real kick out of it too. With giant pixelated characters like Pacman, Centipede, Galaga and Donkey Kong stomping their way through city streets the film acts as a showcase for some amazing digital effects and a comedy vehicle for most of the main players. A lot of the humour does falls flat on its face but a lot of it breaks through, too. Sandler goes for the nice-guy persona and proves to be a good, albeit unlikely, hero while Kevin James tones it down a notch and makes no attempt to steal the show or outdo the others. There are some amusing cameos scattered throughout and there's plenty of nostalgic throwbacks in almost every scene.
The best way to describe PIXELS is to mash together THE LEGO MOVIE, INDEPENDENCE DAY and GHOSTBUSTERS and needless to say, it's a hell of a lot of fun. Could it have been better? Yeah sure... could it have been worse? Absolutely! There is no pretension here and the demographic is abundantly clear. It's a family-friendly comedy adventure, pure and simple, and boasts a truly awe inspiring showcase of special effects. I generally opt for 2D over 3D but in this instance I would highly recommend seeing it in 3D. In fact all of the movie's impact would be lost without it.
Go into PIXELS with an open mind, low expectations and a willingness to have fun. Reset your perceptions and let your inner child out to play for a couple of hours.