"Grab Onto my Mighty Hammer." "You Loved Saying That." "Yeah, I Did."
For the five percent of you out there who had high hopes for “Pixels”, chances are your bubble has already burst. Here’s the thing, though: this isn’t even the GOOD kind of bad.
The major bummer about “Pixels”, honestly, is that it might have worked if it was made thirty years ago. If this film was framed as a campy, low-budget sci-fi movie that knew what it was (hell, maybe if it starred KIDS instead of forty-year-old men), it might have been okay. It at least would have justified the dated, out-of-touch humor present in this film. Every joke in “Pixels” has been done to death in other movies; it’s unlike a traditional Happy Madison film in that they’re not even aiming for cringeworthy offensiveness, just regular, easy humor that they know will get a laugh out of someone (and it did; most of the people in my theater were laughing uproariously at Peter Dinklage’s attempts to screw Serena Williams). Even the actors aren’t pushing the envelope. Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage appear to know what kind of movie they’re in, and ham it up accordingly (not good performances, but appropriate), but James, Sandler and the rest of the cast are playing it straight as a board. It’s not what this film needed. “Pixels” needed every problem the characters needed to solve taken to the silliest, least logical conclusion.
Maybe that’s what the filmmakers thought they were doing. Maybe they thought it was fine to show Q*Bert pissing himself and call that good enough. But when Adam Sandler starts to berate the young child in the movie for playing first-person shooters, when he starts lamenting how video games today don’t require any skill, when he refuses to admit how the film industry AND the video game industry has evolved since 1995, that’s when it hits me that I’m watching nothing more than a nostalgic cash grab.
The creative team behind "Pixels" doesn’t care about video games. THAT, beyond all the other legitimate reasons to hate this movie, is why it is a complete and abject failure.
Vodka Redbull. Get you all jacked up while you’re yelling at the screen. Make your pee turn different colors.
-Drink for unjustified romantic tension. Oh, that’s right! This film also hates women. I ran out of space.
-Drink whenever someone says the name of a retro arcade game (Galaga, Centipede, Pac-Man, etc.)
-Drink when Josh Gad’s character starts talking about conspiracy theories.
-Drink for weird camera shots. They’ll shoot a lot of Dinklage’s scene from this weird angle where the camera’s looking up at him, and it’s like, “guys. He’s short. This isn’t going to make him look taller, it just makes you look stupid.”
-Drink when the aliens communicate with the people of Earth
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). “Pixels” is produced by Happy Madison Productions, 1492, and Colombia Pictures, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 105 minutes.
Special thanks to my patrons, Caroline Kittredge Faustine, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, and Antonia Beck. Your support helped make this article possible!