Writer: Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling (Screenplay) Patrick Jean (Short Film)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Matt Lintz, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Dan Aykroyd
Plot: When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.
Verdict: Never Really Levels Up
Story: Pixels starts in 1982 with Brenner and Cooper as the first video game arcade opens in their town where Brenner shines before entering the world championships. At these Championships Brenner and Cooper meet Eddie for competition and Ludlow as a new friend, these games get filmed and sent into space. Even though Eddie wins the championship Brenner and Cooper remain long term friends.
Move forward to the current time Brenner (Sandler) works as an engineer, while Cooper (James) becomes President (yes it is true Kevin James is the president). Brenner meets fellow divorcee Violet (Monaghan) to start to potential romantic angle but more to the problem comes aliens invading using 80’s video games which leads to Cooper calling in Brenner to help with the situation.
Ludlow (Gad) finds the answers and the alien race wants to challenge Earth to the video game with the losing planet being owned by the winning planet. Brenner ad Ludlow need to train the soldiers to go into battle against the aliens, before they take over the assault with the former champion Eddie (Dinklage).
Pixels tries to play on the nostalgia levels on the gaming fans, and on that part of the story the film really works but then you add the Sandler factor which sucks all the fun out of the film. I want to give this a positive review because I do think the idea is a great idea but I just think they used the wrong humour throughout the film. You could see this film reaching the levels of 21 Jump Street with they had played the correct comedy level and used smart jokes but in the end just stick to Wreck it Ralph. (5/10)
Adam Sandler: Brenner is the former gaming prodigy who never used his skills in life. He now works as an engineer but when the alien video games invade his skills come to the forefront as he leads the attack against the video games. Adam give us his used lazy comedy that really doesn’t work for the film world created. (2/10)
Kevin James: Cooper is the best friend on Brenner who is now the President of the USA, when the alien games invade he calls to his best friend and former gaming community to save the world. Kevin does work in the role and that fact it is him adds to the comedy. (6/10)
Michelle Monaghan: Violet starts off as just a random customer for Brenner before we discovery that she works for the President and is the romantic interest for Brenner. Michelle is just used for eye candy never really being a major part of the film. (5/10)
Peter Dinklage: Eddie is the former champion who now is a criminal but he is the best so Cooper turns to him to help with the battle where his ego still hasn’t changed. Peter gives us a solid performance getting extra laughs but just not to the level he could reach. (6/10)
Josh Gad: Ludlow is the former gamer who has turn into a conspiracy theorist who joins Brenner in the battle for the planet, he gets most of the funny lines because he will change mood instantly. Josh is the highlight of the film that easily gets all the laughs. (7/10)
Support Cast: Pixels has plenty of supporting cast members that all try to add extra comedy that works sometimes in the Sean Bean character but doesn’t in others.
Director Review: Chris Columbus – Chris is a class director and I think he could easily have made this great but he doesn’t reach the levels he could here. (5/10)
Action: Pixels has good gaming action used throughout which I think gets created well. (7/10)
Comedy: Pixels has some funny moments but falls from grace when Sandler jokes take over. (3/10)
Sci-Fi: Pixels creates a good idea with aliens using video game characters to attack Earth. (7/10)
Settings: Pixels has basic settings with well known landmarks being the targets of the alien destruction. (5/10)
Special Effects: Pixels has good effects to create the alien invaders which make things look like they have been taken out of the games. (7/10)
Suggestion: Pixels is one to try but I would say you have to deal with Sandler level humour throughout. (Try It)
Best Part: Pacman.
Worst Part: Sandler.
Action Scene Of The Film: Pacman game.
Funniest Scene: Josh Gad in Pacman game.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $68.5 Million
Budget: $88 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes
Tagline: Play for the Planet
Overall: Disappointing Effort of smart idea.