There’s an episode of Futurama that contains a ten minute segment about aliens attacking Earth using old-school videogame characters including Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. Pixels is a one hundred minute movie about aliens attacking Earth using old-school videogame characters including Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. That ten minutes of Futurama has about five times as many laughs as the whole of Pixels. I’m no mathematician but I’m certain that makes Pixels a waste of time.
As I’ve already stated, videogame characters invade Earth. The only people who can stop them are a group of nerds who were the best players of their generation. This ragtag team is made up of Brenner (Adam Sandler), Ludlow (Josh Gad), and Eddie (Peter Dinklage) and only they can defeat the alien threat. This brings up one of the many problems with the movie – how come no one else in the film has any knowledge of Pac-Man or Centipede? These aren’t obscure games that only the geekiest of geeks would recognise, they’re iconic products that almost everyone played in the 80s.
I digress. That actual scenes where the games attack are colourful, fun, and affectionate towards the digital characters they contain. Pac-Man looks glorious chomping his way through the streets and its fun spotting your favourite childhood virtual playthings in the big climax in Washington. Watch out for Paperboy, Robotron, and my favourites, the little dudes from Joust (yes, I am a huge nerd).
As fun as these action scenes are, the comedy in between is horrible. A big part of this is the script which seems to have been devoured by Pac-Man and shat out into the lap of a half asleep Adam Sandler. The jokes just don’t come and comic timing is non-existent. The first half hour is tedious as it mainly consists of Adam Sandler chatting up Michelle Monaghan. At first it appears she’s totally out of his league but by the end of the movie you’ll agree that she’s definitively out of his league.
Pixels is a strange movie that doesn’t seem to know who it’s aimed at. It’s basically a kids film which has the word ‘shit’ in it a few times. However it comes across as a kids movie that is filled with references that only people in their thirties will get. This means that the only audience that will truly enjoy Pixels are children who were cryogenically frozen in 1983 and thawed out now. Judging by the number of laughs I heard at the screening I was at, there weren’t many of the icy little bastards there. So unless you’re in the mood to be bored for a hundred minutes then go watch that Futurama episode instead.
Have you seen Pixels? How good were you at Defender? Cos I could seriously kick your ass at it. Let me know in the comments below.