by Heinrich Domingo
A beautiful leading lady, a heroic save at the film’s ending, and a happy ever after complete an Adam Sandler brand of comedy. Aside from the nostalgic appearance of arcade games, nothing is to be expected from the film. It remained to be a movie that you can ditch on your movies-to-watch list.
Truly, the concept of transforming obsolete arcade games into real life pixelated figures excites the relatively older generation of movie-goers. The movie pays tribute to these memorabilia pieces through asserting that they invoke critical thinking than the violence-centered RPG games today. This was furthered through including the creator of Pacman Toru Iwatani (played by Dennis Akiyama) and his melodramatic reunion with his ‘son.’
As the film progresses, the problems in its plot are gradually revealed. Too often, characters are in an unrealistic environment having unrealistic roles. Making Will Cooper (played by Kevin James) a US president not only seemed impossible but also badly hurt the sequence of events. A world leader who cannot read but seems to have a sole military control of his country cannot simply exist. Watching the military action, fight scenes, and the film resolution became a cringe-worthy cinema experience.
Others might argue that comedy films are nothing but films that intend to make the audience laugh. In the case of Pixels, it fails to be both a quality story and a laughable material. With its faulty plot, characters were insufficiently established thus making the film lose its audience connection. On the other hand, jokes delivered are clichés which looked to be hastily made. And, of course, admitting that comedy lines are inferior to other film genres is an insult to the efforts made by recent films such as Spy.
The film can be appreciated on its aim to reintroduce the pixelated art of arcade games. The game patterns, the visual simplicity, and the fun and enjoyment these games brought are all worthy of a film reference. Yet, in the absence of a strong storyline this brilliant idea cannot stand strong.
In the end, Pixels joined the long list of Adam Sandler films that live by their stereotypical elements of being crass and stupid. Nothing new is offered. Spare yourself from one and a half hour of torture.
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