When I first saw the trailer for Pixels, the concept excited me, but my gut told me that it was going to be a stinker.
Pixels is going to be a flop. We had maybe fifteen people in our screening and the Arclight Hollywood staff were openly mocking our movie choice. They were really laying into a fellow coworker, who had decided to watch Pixels on her afternoon off.
I get it. The trailer looked awful and it stars Adam Sandler...can't be good, right? I had low expectations, but I still liked the overall concept, so I wanted to see it play out. Plus, we own a vintage Pac-Man machine, so of course we were going to see Pixels.
PLOT - In 1984 the government sent a time capsule into space, which included footage from a video game tournament. Aliens interpreted the footage as a threat and they have created destructive versions of classic video game characters to destroy earth. To make it fair, they're not simply after annihilation, but they have challenged earth to a game, best out of three. If we win, they will accept defeat.
Unpopular US President, William Cooper ( Kevin James), happens to be friends with several of the gaming champions of the 1980's and he enlists them to battle the aliens.
LIKE- It's all about the concept. The idea of aliens using video game characters to attack earth and turn it into a giant video game. is fun and entertaining. Visually, Pixels looks fabulous. I liked the nostalgia factor and there was plenty of creativity. Unfortunately, a strong concept and stunning visuals is not enough to make a great film.
DISLIKE- Pixels tries very hard to be funny. Nearly all of the jokes fell completely flat, especially everything involving Eddie ( Peter Dinklage). I don't know if it was the way the character was written or the acting choices that Dinklage made, but Eddie was simply too awkward and outlandish. Pixels is an outlandish film, but Eddie takes it too far. Adam Sandler is usually nails on a chalkboard, but mercifully, he played it quiet in this role.
Some of the story didn't make sense. Why would they throw a big gala in the middle of fighting the aliens? How did Lady Lisa (Ashley Benson) transform? What the heck was up with Norbert? Norbert was cute at first, but he quickly became the Jar Jar Binks of Pixels. The epilogue was kind of icky too.
RECOMMEND - Pixels is going to suffer from bad marketing. It's purely a children's film, but it's not marketed that way. Its strongest appeal is going to be the preteen crowd. The kids that were in our screening, spent the whole time giggling and they were very enthusiastic when were were leaving the theatre. If you have older kids, taken them.
Pixels is not going to have a high appeal for the average adult movie-goer. If you love classic games, wait until it's a rental.