Pixels Review: When Video Games Take Over

Credit to Colombia Pictures
Credit to Colombia Pictures

For years we’ve been told to heed the warnings that video games are detrimental and harmful to society due to increasing violence and antisocial behaviour. Many of us, shrugged off those warnings and continued to indulge ourselves with hours and hours of gaming. Little did we know, that these very games would bring with it the destruction of some of the world’s major cities. Go figure.

Credit to Columbia Pictures
Credit to Columbia Pictures

Pixels is the latest instalment in the Adam Sandler series of movies. Directed by Chris Columbus,  Pixels brings together the comedic team of Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Kevin James who play the nerdy ‘heroes’ tasked with saving the world, with Michelle Monaghan as the lead female protagonist and obvious love interest for Adam Sandler’s character.

As with most (if not all) of Adam Sandler’s recent flicks, Pixels illustrates the story of a down on his luck, underdog, whose only positive in life is his expertise on 80s arcade games and his friendship with the President of the United States. Following the Adam Sandler movie formula, the unlucky guy meets the girl of his dreams, who happens to work in weapons development for a unit of the military under the direct command of the President. Naturally, a love-hate relationship begins between the two as the looming threat becomes evident.

Credit to Columbia Pictures
Credit to Columbia Pictures

A sudden attack on an American military base puts the government on high alert and the President, a nerd and former arcade gamer himself, notices something that requires confirmation by one of the top gamers in the nation, Sam Brenner, the lead protagonist played by Sandler. Upon review, the team comes to the conclusion that the attacks are coming from old video games. It is later revealed that the attacks are due to an alien race’s misinterpretation of video game feeds as being a declaration of war from Earth.

The moment video games begin coming to life and terrorising the world is when Brenner and his associates, fellow gamers, consisting of the funny yet slightly annoying character played by Josh Gad and the disturbing and cringe-worthy convict played by Peter Dinklage, are recruited to help save the world using their ‘expertise’, skills that the military do not possess.

Credit to Columbia Pictures
Credit to Columbia Pictures

With the help of weapons developed by Sandler’s on screen love interest, the team work around the clock to beat the alien video games at their challenge, that is, to win three games or else their planet dies. If you have seen Disney’s, Wreck-It-Ralph, you’re likely to find similarities. If I had to pick one or the other to watch, I would pick Wreck-It-Ralph. That being said, Pixels was entertaining in its own right. There were comedic moments, almost heart-warming romantic moments and of course, who can resist the inclusion of the adorable video game character, Qbert?

While the plot was tired, it was fantastic to see much loved and classic arcade games, the likes of Pacman and Donkey Kong, be brought to life. For all those born pre-2000s, this will likely bring back some good childhood memories and of course young children will love the idea of strange and wonderful creatures being brought out in 3D. Of course, despite Adam Sandler movies these days lacking that certain oomph, children seem to enjoy it and oftentimes, as a busy adult, it’s nice to watch a movie and not have to concentrate or think too much. Pixels, is that kind of movie.

Credit to Columbia Pictures
Credit to Columbia Pictures

To me personally though, I liked the movie. I liked the fact that the nerds came out on top. Not only was a nerd the President of the United States, but the remaining three nerds managed to save the day and get their girls. A light-hearted, fun, typical Adam Sandler movie was the perfect way to end a long gruelling day at work. Would I pay money to watch it or likely watch it again? Probably not but I would definitely recommend others to watch it at some point.

 

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