Grade: Kids (B) Anyone Else (D)
Some people have liked this one and some have hated it, but regardless of its overall enjoyment, or lack of, this was a literal cash heist for the non family viewers to fill seats based on false advertising.
Video game characters from the 80’s attack the earth, that’s really it.
Well this may end up being a style of review all its own. As the for the film, it was solid in its creativity, the special-effects were well done and the film was beautifully shot at times. For children this movie is certainly entertaining, it boasts a easy to follow story line that fares better the less you think about it. There is an abundance of extremely recycled dialogue a puppy could follow along with so you won’t need to turn the brain on. So for that aspect the budget (whatever it was) for this film seemed well used.
That’s really all I got as far as diving into the critique.
Now for my major issues with this film, being the marketing. If there is a video game system about to launch a series of re-releases of old video game titles and they are trying to pave the way by opening the door to a new audience of potential gamer’s, then it would explain this film. The entire thing feels like one long commercial for product trying to be sold. The way this film felt like a big product pitch hindered it from feeling anything like a film of its own. This would answer a lot given the film was trying to simply reach out to children, however there are plenty of other (current day) video game characters kids all know and love that could have filled this story-line.
But no, this film was leading the way with a wave of 80’s nostalgia by implementing the characters they did. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Galaga and Joust were all games I played as a kid, I grew up and loved all of these titles. I am also close to 40 now and there was little chance a person in my age bracket will actually find this film even moderately enjoyable. If this film was aiming to an older market by the icons they built this script around then there was a severe lack in quality to even resemble an entertaining story.
The dialogue was atrocious, the characters were cardboard cut-outs and even in their performances the cast seemed to lack anything close to a persona other then their own. It was as if to say even they couldn’t believe they were doing the role which resulted in flat, lifeless representations. Except for Sandler of course who was laughing all the way to the bank with his usual acting efforts.
For the older crowd these familiar characters can be related to, it simply will not work to try and pull off Kevin James as the President no matter how nice a suit you try to put him in. It didn’t even look like Sandler was playing a role, his character was named Brenner but it might as well have been Adam Sandler since he was playing himself. Half the time it didn’t even look like he was in wardrobe but simply wearing what he woke up in and just drove to work, got on the set and ran around spouting horrendous dialogue wielding a big plastic gun in front of some green-screens.
The reason films such as “Wreck It Ralph” were so successful was because it knew its target audience. It was safe to say this one knew its true target audience as well but clearly tried to dip into the pockets of another demographic that should have never been lured to this film in the first place.
“Pixels” was good in parts but not nearly close to being a complete film for anyone over the age of ten. Sandler and company clearly tried to boost some sales at the cost of the movie-goers overall experience, dipping into multiple target audiences to fill more seats. Kind of like the double-CD release cutting the sales necessary to reach platinum in half before it even hits the shelves.
But for kids, this film will certainly do, there is a lot going on, it’s colorful and they will laugh a lot, so for that aspect, and that one alone this film was worth it.