My Rating: 5.5 out of 10
Do you like ridiculous comedies? Did you grow up in the 80s or 90s? Do you like video games? If so, then you’ll have a good time at Pixels, the latest Adam Sandler movie. I have to admit that after hearing all the terrible reviews, I was a bit skeptical that I would enjoy Pixels as much as I thought I would when I first saw the trailer earlier this year, but I was glad that I ended up seeing it.
The plot of Pixels is very simple: in the early 1980s, NASA sent a probe into space with videos of kids playing all the famous arcade games of the time (Pac-Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong, etc). Fast-forward to 2015, when aliens receive the probe, which they misinterpret as a declaration of war, and send real life video games to destroy the Earth. With the global military forces baffled, the President of the United States (played by the goofy Kevin James) has to turn to his old arcade buddies Brenner and Ludlow (Adam Sandler and Josh Gad respectively) to help battle the invaders.
There’s no doubt about it, Pixels is a very goofy, absurd movie that isn’t meant to do anything other than make people laugh, but there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s certainly a lot to nitpick for those of you who are inclined to do so, but my advice is to just sit back and enjoy the ride. The less you think about this movie, the funnier it will be and the better your experience will be.
A lot of the jokes are aimed at kids and teenagers, as they are over-the-top or just plain silly. But there is plenty of adult-directed humor mixed in along with the numerous references that only people who grew up during a certain time will understand (though there are certainly a good amount of references for modern teens). This balance between comedy for both adults and children helps Pixelsappeal to a broader audience, but may also turn away some parents that disapprove of the more suggestive jokes and adults that expected even cruder humor.
While I had an overall good time at Pixels and found myself laughing throughout most of the film, I can also understand why some people might be so critical. The characters can seem a little two-dimensional at times and the lines frequently seem as though they were written by a highschooler, but I have a feeling that this was done intentionally to magnify the absurdity of the story. Adam Sandler’s movies might not be what they once were, but he knows enough about screenwriting to understand the way the lines will sound on screen.
With that being said, the acting in this movie is great and the fact that Adam Sandler was able to get so many big names involved made it all the more funnier. For example, Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage were both hilarious in their roles. On top of that, cameos by certain famous non-actors happened a few times and made everyone in the theatre laugh due to the sheer ridiculousness of their appearances.
One thing that I heard some people complaining about before I went to see the movie is that Kevin James is way too absurd and stupid to play the President, but that aspect of the film was a joke in and of itself. Many of the scenes dealing with the United States military were peppered with commentary about the current gridlock in American politics and some of the crazy ideas that politicians actually have.
If you’re looking for a comedy that is going to leave you with an important message or make you think after leaving the theatre, Pixels isn’t for you. If you’re looking for something that is game changing like The Hangover or Step Brothers, then Pixels probably isn’t for you either. But if you don’t mind taking the movie for what it is and want to enjoy a goofy film packed with 80s references and some great actors playing totally ridiculous roles, then be sure to check Pixels out. For those of you still on the fence, check it out on cable or DVD instead of paying to go to the theatre.