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Pixels [MOVIE REVIEW]

Okay, this is not exactly the most necessary review I will ever write after this movie has already been ripped several different assholes throughout the internet so me attempting to do that again will seem redundant. But 'Pixels' is quite a fascinating movie because we all know that if they had put in just a little more effort into the script and actually make it a GOOD movie - this would have been one of the highest grossing movies of the entire year.

To say that I despise Adam Sandler and his company Happy Madison's recent output on the big screen is a major understatement. Several years in a row he has been responsible for some of the worst movies of the whole century with 'Jack and Jill' possibly holding the title for the worst movie ever made. With that being said, 'Pixels' is most definitely the best movie that Happy Madison has made in many years. While I cannot imagine why anybody would like some of their other films, I can see young kids possibly enjoying 'Pixels' as it never really becomes especially boring to watch. But it is highly irritating how this could have been a really fun movie which is what may have happened if ANYBODY other than Happy Madison got a hold of it. What we were left with instead is a wasted opportunity of the highest proportion imaginable. This is a lazily put together mess of a film that does not even care about the possibilities that was giftwrapped to them with this premise.

The writing is on auto-pilot as you could basically have made a program that generates the most basic script possible for you and then insert this premise - and voilà, all the clichés you can think of is here. Everything that a lazy person would throw into a movie like this can easily be found and while that might have been all right - the computer program cannot generate heart and soul. There is no vision behind 'Pixels', no passion for what they are making and an example that shows that more than nothing else is Adam Sandler himself because he looks utterly bored in every scene. You can easily tell that he just does not care about his work anymore and just wants to get back to his trailer. For a movie like this, you need a likeable lead with energy and charm - everything Adam Sandler does not have anymore.


To get some positives out of the way, the movie certainly looks great. Chris Columbus is a good director (albeit he has not directed a good movie since 2002) that definitely transcends the material and made it actually FEEL like a movie... something a lot of other Happy Madison productions has failed at in recent years. Some of the shots are really well put together and does an admirable job at trying to hide the terrible script, the set-pieces are quite engaging from a directing standpoint and he keeps the pacing brisk throughout. The most disappointing part of the whole movie from a technical standpoint is that we barely got a birds-eye-view shot of the giant Pac-Man roaming around the streets of New York - you know, making it look like the videogame. They also failed doing this with Galaga as it barely even LOOKS like the videogame so if you do not know about the game based solely on the name, you will not have a clue what it is.

In terms of performances, I have already talked about Adam Sandler so I will talk about his co-stars starting with Josh Gad. Now Josh Gad... screams a lot, and that is basically the only thing they do with him on a "comedic" standpoint even though as proven by 'Frozen' - he can do comedy without shouting. Kevin James plays the President of the United States which is a horse that has already been beaten to the ground several times so I will just say that he did deliver a surprisingly downbeat performance as I was expecting him to scream and just act dumb about everything that is happening (although it seems like they gave that role to Josh Gad). The very best actor in the movie though is Peter Dinklage but he actually comes across more sad that anything as it actually looks like he is trying to do something with the performance. Michelle Monaghan gets very little to do apart from being a love-interest and tell us some expository dialogue (with one especially cringe-worthy one when she told Adam Sandler that they have to destroy the giant Pac-Man three times in order to beat it - even though Adam Sandler already KNOWS this).


This really is a terrible script. Several plot-points do not make any sense, the dialogue is terribly uninspired and many character arcs need the movie to distort its own internal logic and go against everything they have established in order for it to work. Even then, there are plot-points that did not even need to exist as they do not serve anything to the story or characters. We are being told that Kevin James' wife hates him - but literally every single second we see them together after that clearly shows that she has no problem with him and in fact seem to get along pretty damn well. The aliens give them Q*bert as a prize for winning the Pac-Man game - even though they know that Peter Dinklage's character cheated. This is very clearly a first draft script that was put into production even before anybody proofread it. Or maybe people DID proofread it but they did not care to edit any of it - which is exactly the kind of behavior I expect from the Happy Madison people when it comes to making movies.

Overall, this is not as bad as people are saying it is. I am not even sure why this is being thrown around the internet as the worst movie ever made when it would not even crack the top 5 worst Happy Madison movies - let alone the top 5 worst movies of this year. With that being said, this is not a good movie. No real effort or heart was put into the film, this is the epitome of a good idea that was absolutely squandered by phoned in performances all around. Every set up in the film is either not payed off - or payed off in a way that breaks everything that was established and do not even begin to make sense. If you are four years old you might find some entertainment value out of it thanks to the colorful visuals but even then, there are too many scenes without the pixelated game characters for young kids to get through the whole thing and the movie is so pathetically lazy that the older audience will not be able to get through it either.


3/10

- Lucas

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