NASA sends a message containing video games, footage from old T.V. shows, and interviews from celebrities like Madonna into space, to communicate with intelligent life forms, who misinterpret them as a declaration of war. The aliens thereafter attack Earth as pixelized versions of characters from popular 80’s arcade games.
Adam Sandler along with Kevin James, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage star in the sci-fi comedy Pixels, playing former arcade game champs, called upon to save the planet from the attacking video game characters of the 80’s. The film utilizes nostalgia and video games to its advantage to develop an emotional connection with the audience who lived during that era, as well as connecting with the current generation.
The comic timing from Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad were spot on. The actors were right in their comfort zone and honestly attempting exactly what was expected of them. Peter Dinklage was also good but there were times where his loud egoistic character was just plain annoying. Michelle Monaghan rounds up the loud ensemble group playing the strong single mother and White House military adviser.
The special effects were wonderful and the video game characters with their vibrant colors looked fantastic. The gamer within was particularly overjoyed to see characters from popular games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Centipede. Other commonly known games like Tetris and Asteroids are also portrayed and will take audience members back to the memorable time they spent playing arcade games. A blink and miss shot of Toru Iwatani (creator of Pac-Man) during the opening sequence, will have fanatics ecstatic. Later in the movie a lovely tribute is bestowed upon Iwatani, thanking him for giving the world one of the most popular games of all time.
Pixels overall is a fun ride if you just sit back and try not to analyze the film for what it really is – light-hearted entertainment that does not go over the top. It may seem nonsensical, but it is enjoyable and a cool blast from the past.