Pixels 3D

Pixels 3D

(2015)

When 1980s-era arcade game characters attack the United States, the country's military call up the finest video gamers - Adam Sandler (Grown Ups 2), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Josh Gad - to repel the threat. Directed by Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone's Chris Columbus, and based on French director Patrick Jean's short film.

Flicks Review

Here’s the pull quote, people: Pixels - It’s not as bad as you’ve heard.... More

Of course it isn’t. For Pixels to earn the sort of scathing reviews it has been receiving out of North America, it would have to slap each member of the audience in the face individually, arrange to have your pets murdered while you were at the cinema and then flaunt Adam Sandler’s genitalia in each and every scene.

It doesn’t. It doesn’t do anything that offensive. Nor anything memorable at all really. It’s just that it promised more than it was ever going to deliver. Way more.

The first trailer promised a rollicking comedy riffing on early ‘80s arcade games mashed with a Michael Bay-style Earth-threatening action flick. The world took notice. “Yes” they said. “Brilliant idea!”

Unfortunately it’s not the idea behind this film.

This film is actually the next chapter in Adam Sandler’s migration from making adult comedies about kidults (Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer) to making family movies with actual kids (Bedtime Stories, Grown Ups 2, Blended). It features kids and it is made for them. The story sees President Kevin James (yes, really) ask life-long friend Sandler, a childhood arcade champ, to save Earth by playing aliens in Pac Man, Snake and Donkey Kong and in doing so overcome his childhood trauma. Plus, save the kids.

The problem is that the young target audience have never heard of the games – this is pitched at tweens, not even teens – while the generations who are arcade literate get a patronising snooze fest.

That disconnect has allowed adult audiences to vent their pent-up aggression built over years of Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy and Just Go With It. Sandler has indeed earned the vitriol directed at hime, but this film hasn’t.

Pixels is a harmless family film that kids can enjoy on TV even if they don’t quite understand the references. It’s not a great film about monsters attacking Earth, but it’s also not a monster itself.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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The Press Reviews

17% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Desperately caters to Gen-X junk nostalgia without bothering to think that maybe those Reagan-era kids have grown up a bit. Full Review

  • This one-note comedy runs out of gas within an hour and should have been trimmed to a neat 90 minutes. Full Review

  • There’s no joy left in [Adam Sandler's] shtick. Full Review

  • There is an actual story backbone, told efficiently, with regular laughs, committed performances and a believable throughline on friendship, love and other well-worn themes. Full Review

  • Saving graces, almost: an insanely ripe performance by Peter Dinklage and a surreal moment involving Hall & Oates. Full Review

  • There's a certain thrill to seeing humans face off against Frogger. If only as much care had been put into the living characters as the pixelated ones. Full Review

  • Some movies are so interminable that it seems they might never end, while others are assembled with such indifference that you are essentially left waiting for them to start. "Pixels" somehow manages both. Full Review

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