Pixels (Movie Review)

PixelsI really wanted to love this movie.  I really did.  Although the special effects are very amazing and rather stunning; it is the same old same old Happy Madison movie formula.  Sandler is the hero who doesn’t have self-confidence, James is the best friend who does believe in the hero and serves as a moral compass, Dinklage plays the over-sexed and inappropriate sleazy friend, and Gad plays the under-sexed and awkward nerd.  It was disappointing.

In Pixels, when a 1982 satellite launch with a time capsule in hopes of communicating with extra-terrestrial life brings more than anyone hoped for, the world has to work together to stop the alien invasion.   An alien race has mistaken the inclusion of a video game arcade contest captured on VHS as a challenge to war.  The alien race has created life size video games that attack various cities around the globe.  Earth is given three lives to defeat the invading force or be annihilated.   The problem is that no one knows how to play these ancient games….or do they?  Enter the geeks.  Brenner, Cooper, Eddie and Ludlow are our only hope.  Boy, are we in trouble!

Pixels is based on a short film by Patrick Jean.  Written by Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling, the film is directed by Chris Columbus.  It stars Adam Sandler (The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates), Kevin James (Zookeeper, Here Comes the Boom), Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye, Gone Baby Gone), Peter Dinklage (Find Me Guilty, HBO’s Game of Thrones), Josh Gad ( The Wedding Ringer and TV’s The Comedians), and Matt Lintz (The Way Home, Piranha 3DD).  This movie definitely had a lot of potential and star power, but just didn’t quite make it.

Like most of Happy Madison movies, there is this very charming romantic comedy and fun story that is completely mangled by juvenile and idiotic pranks, jokes and innuendos.   I found myself wanting to punch Gad’s character and slap or knee Dinklage’s character just about every time that they spoke.  And what’s really sad about that is that I really love Dinklage.  I have since the British version of “Death at a Funeral” and “Find Me Guilty” with Vin Diesel.  Love that guy.  But in this movie, I hated his character.  Which means he did it well, but still…

On the other side, there is a really fun and entertaining story that should be the making of a great romantic comedy if not for being amid the inappropriate and idiotic stuff.  The special effects are amazing and the references to all things 80’s is very entertaining.  The absolutely stunning list of surprise cameos will keep you invested all the way through.  Sean Bean, Dan Aykroyd, and Matt Frewer just to name a few.  Sandler and James are very awesome together.  I do enjoy their on-screen buddy moments in all the movies I’ve seen them in together.

Rated:  PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments

Runtime:  105 mins

Genre:  Action/Comedy/Sci-fi

So in summary, I give this one…



I was really kind of disappointed in this one.  It had great potential but sadly fell short.  The special effects, story and surprise cameos keep this one from tanking completely.  I would love if Happy Madison would try their hand at romantic comedies without all the inappropriate shenanigans.  It’s worth seeing on the big screen because of the incredible special effects, but definitely not worth full evening prices.  Matinee pricing is the most I would pay to see this one.  It would be better to wait for discount night or discount theater viewing so that you don’t feel that cheated but still get to see it on the big screen.  It’s definitely going to be a hit with the crowds that love this type of humor.  But that is not this viewer.

That’s my review and I’m sticking to it!  See you at the theaters!

Pixels Poster


1 Response to “Pixels (Movie Review)”

  1. Brian White

    You are braver than I 🙂