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Pixels User Review

  • kav
    Pixels
    Review of Pixels movie by kav, Aug 13, 2015.
    Posted this elsewhere earlier, thought I may as well add it here!

    Any film where Kevin James plays the president of the USA is going to require a helluva suspension of disbelief, regardless of the subject matter. However given I grew up playing the games in question, the principle of the film - aliens intercept a NASA-launched "time capsule" from 1982 containing contemporary video games and treat it as a declaration of war, a war to be decided by following the rules of video games - appeals to me.

    Unfortunately I found the film to be more miss than hit. I'm all for suspension of disbelief, but Pixels manages on several occasions to breach the rules of the world it constructs, which is irritating. It's also another phoned-in performance from Sandler and James, who pretty much play the same characters they always play. I tried, but James playing POTUS was so ludicrous (he plays him the same as he plays his character in King of Queens etc) I couldn't help but get annoyed, especially as the comedy was fairly sparse (the best jokes coming from the pixellated characters rather than the real ones). Sandler, similarly, plays to type as the lovable screw-up who somehow always gets the hot girl despite offering them nothing of value. You can predict every beat of their performance from the outset. Even Peter Dinklage, despite performing with gusto, is let down by a weak script and what could have been laugh out loud moments instead brought a wan smile.

    What also irritated me was for a 2015 film about gaming, the jokes are often very outdated, with stereotypical "hilarity" about how gamers are nerds and kids who play games are incapable of having a social life. Perhaps that's why my wife enjoyed it, she holds the same old-fashioned views about gaming. :)

    The best part about the film for me was the effects, and the nods to the old arcade games - you can tell they had a lot of fun with this, and of course it's entertaining to see which game characters you recognise as they appear on screen.

    All that said, the kids loved it, but that was another thing that confused me - by making the film 12A (due to a sprinkling of swear words and some moderately scary moments), they probably alienated 3/4 of the people who would most enjoy this film.

    5/10

    Pros

    • Great visual effects, some nice nostalgic moments for older gamers

    Cons

    • Flat humour, seen-it-before performances, iffy script.

    Verdict

    5
    No comments have been posted on this review yet.
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