Chris Columbus directs this action comedy, as aliens who misinterpreted messages from earth of our culture via NASA as a declaration of war, send video games to earth to destroy us, the film stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan, Brian Cox, Sean Bean.
Adam Sandler, where did it go wrong? Although Pixels was never really marketed as a Sandler movie and he didn’t quite take top billing for it, he was part of why some people went to see the film undoubtedly, as was the films premise, an actually really cool idea and something that felt different. Unfortunately, poor execution has the film falter quite a bit and not be anywhere near as good as it could have been, Sandler as Brenner is sort of along for the ride here, with his quirky acting and delivery still present, he just looks a bit bored in all honesty, in stark contrast to Josh Gad as Ludlow, energetic and one of the better parts of the film.
Meanwhile Kevin James is the president of the US and also friends with Brenner, of course and Michelle Monaghan is okay in the film but nothing special, Peter Dinklage is a great actor but feels a bit wasted as the slightly crazy Eddie. The relationships in the film just felt a bit too cliché though and there’s a distinct feeling of having seen it all before, which is a shame because the concept of a video game war film is something I haven’t seen before. A few aspects of the film do let it down and make it feel a bit by the numbers, the plot itself is predictable and you completely know where it’s going from highs to lows and even to a few surprises but to the films credit, the sheer inclusion of video game icons like Pac Man and Donkey was awesome to see.
Though including said characters simply wasn’t enough to make the film good, the set pieces present are also decent with humans having to play by video game rules to defeat the evil video game characters but actually felt a bit formulaic and short with Brenner and Ludlow doing their thing and figuring out how to progress and while the film clearly went for the fun adventure, characters figuring things out as they go on tone, it doesn’t quite work out. The story just isn’t really fun oddly enough and in comparison to another big, silly alien war film that springs to mind, Mars Attacks, Pixels should have tried to emulate that sort of entertaining style.
. Plot is by the numbers
. Relationships feel barely developed, some feel shoehorned for the plot
. Fun to see video game characters but they’re few and far between