Pixels (2015) Film Review

Aliens receive video feeds of classic video games and misinterpret it as a declaration of war. They attack the Earth in the form of game characters and it’s up to expert gamers to save the world. What could go wrong?


I’m sure by now you’ve heard some savage reviews of this film. The truth is that its actually not that bad! If you’re a fan of Adam Sandler you’ll know what to expect : A few quirky put downs and maybe one scene where you’ll laugh out loud. His films have always been slightly watered down since the Sandler golden age of Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Little Nicky and The Waterboy. Lets not pretend this film is going to change the world, or even shift the framework of modern cinema by an inch – instead lets appreciate it for what it is – which is just a fun piece of big budget hollywood. All of your friends are here! Pac-man, Astroids, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Mario, Galaga and Centipede to name but a few. It really is a trip down memory lane. The frustration. The arcade memories.

The film plays out like Ghostbusters meets The Wizard but not enough to taint those classics. The special fx are of a consistent standard throughout the film and pick up where the script falls down. Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, X-Men : Days of future past) was a real let down in this film. Having seen him act everyone off the screen in GOT i was excited to see his name attached to this project, however he employs an accent for this role that is ever-changing and never quite settles during the course of the movie. His co-star on GOT Sean Bean makes an all too brief appearance in this film, and Matt frewer reprises his role as Max Headroom (after decades!) for one of the scenes which i thought was a nice touch of 80’s pop culture.

And hey! Is that Dan Akroyd??? What lets this film down is really the marketing. The nostalgia is very real and for anyone who grew up with these classic games it feels like coming home to an old friend, but the film seems to be aimed at a much younger audience. An audience that grew up with Gears of War and Grand Theft Auto rather than Tetris and DigDug. This is addressed in the film but not quite in any real context. As much as i enjoyed the film i couldn’t help thinking it wasn’t sure what it wanted to be. It’s not quite Independence Day but if you’re 30+ it’ll kill an afternoon.

This is available via our Amazon affiliate link on DVD and Blu-ray

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