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Pixels Movie Review

Reviewed by on Jun 24, 2015
Rating: 2 Star Rating

Kidzworld watched Pixels, the new Adam Sandler film about a bunch of older guys who get to reclaim their youthful glory as early video game champions…. and save the world in the process.

By: Lynn Barker

If your glory days were back in the ‘80’s when, as a kid, you were super hot at the very first Atari system video games like PAC-MAN and Donkey Kong, you might feel pretty depressed as a less-than-hot adult in 2015. Who knew that aliens were going to watch an ‘80’s broadcast about these games and take it as a declaration of war and attack.. decades later!  Can the “old guys” use their classic gaming skills to save the world?

Can we be the Fantastic Four?Can we be the Fantastic Four?Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Story Goes

In 1982, best buds Sam Brenner (played as an adult later by Adam Sandler) and Will Cooper (Kevin James later) enjoy the new video game arcade that just opened up in town. Will always thought his best pal was destined for greatness. Sam becomes quite the video game champion and Will, well, not as much but he is cool at that thing that picks up stuffed animals etc. with “the claw”.

PAC-MAN pixelates a skyscraperPAC-MAN pixelates a skyscraperCourtesy of Sony Pictures

At a big video game competition, the guys meet Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad) and a good gamer with a horrible superiority complex, Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant (Peter Dinklage) who thinks he’s “all that”. Who will win? The whole thing is video-taped and sent into space as a sample of our culture. Years later, adult Sam isn’t “all that” and is divorced and working installing home entertainment equipment. He meets hot divorcee Violet (Michelle Monaghan) but before anything can really develop, Sam is called by The White House! Seems underachiever Will is now the President who says aliens are attacking and they look like the video games the kids used to play. The videotape of the competition was watched and misinterpreted as a declaration of war.

President (Kevin James) introduces the heroesPresident (Kevin James) introduces the heroesCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Can Sam live up to his early glory and fight these alien PAC-MEN and Donkey Kongs? Along to help are Ludlow, Will, Violet and the still annoying Eddie.

Donkey Kong repares to bomb the cityDonkey Kong repares to bomb the cityCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Wrapping Up

Sadly Pixels is your dad’s movie. It really tries to glorify older dudes who grew up in the ‘80’s and were nerds except they excelled at dawn-of-the-video-game-era, kinda lame games like PAC-MAN and Donkey Kong.  The film is kind of chauvinistic, i.e. rewarding old guys with hot girls. The “good guys” wear matching outfits and act like Ghostbusters, thrilled when threatened citizens cheer them but they don’t deliver the great one-liners or buddy rooting interest that classic film had.

Maybe we can't defeat these thingsMaybe we can't defeat these thingsCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Young Eddie (Peter Dinklage) at the conventionYoung Eddie (Peter Dinklage) at the conventionCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Adam Sandler is well-cast as his usual down and out everyman with family problems and it’s fun to see “Game of Thrones”’ little person Peter Dinklage in a major funny role although a little of his annoying character goes a long way. Josh Gad is physically funny and Pixels does boast some cute and colorful visual effects as the giant game avatars chew up cities and turn everything into loose pixels but other than a few gross or silly visual joke moments, you just don’t care.

The airbourne enemy GalagaThe airbourne enemy GalagaCourtesy of Sony Pictures

I liked the little Mini-Coopers that the “good guys” scoot around town in and there are a few touching family, father/son or buddy moments that are a plus but overall, although younger kids might just enjoy all the colorful action, wait and catch this one when it comes out on Netflix or home video. We go 2 stars.

PAC-MAN vs. the Mini CoopersPAC-MAN vs. the Mini CoopersCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Pixels Movie Rating: 2

Pixels Posters featuring PAC-Man and Donkey KongPixels Posters featuring PAC-Man and Donkey KongCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Pixels is in theaters now!