Movie Review: Pixels

Adam Sandler movies are usually hit or miss for me. I liked Just Go With It, but hated Grown-Ups (and, for some inexplicable reason, also decided to see Grown-Ups 2, which I again disliked). However, his newest film, Pixels, is more of a group effort, and all of the humor was actually very on-point; I ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would.

In 1982, Brenner (Sandler, as an adult), Cooper (Kevin James), and Ludlow (Josh Gad) were at the top of the video game world and had been invited to compete in the world championships. Brenner actually almost wins the championship, but is beaten by Eddie (Peter Dinklage), in the very last round, when they compete on Donkey Kong. Flash-forward to present-day and Brenner is a "Nerd" (similar to Best Buy's Geek Squad) and installs home electronic equipment for a living; his friend Cooper is now the President of the U.S.; and Ludlow is still living with his grandma and drafting conspiracy theories. When a U.S. base in Guam is attacked, and the military figures out that a real-life video game actually attacked them, Cooper calls in his friends, as well as Eddie (who is now actually in jail), to help save the world from the creatures - sent by aliens who think the U.S. has declared war on them - and prevent Earth from being destroyed.

The premise of this movie was definitely unique. If you have played or heard of any of the classic video games like Pac-Man (one of my favorites), Centipede, or Donkey Kong, you will enjoy this film very much. I saw the movie in 3D, as well, and it was great with some of the video game sequences, especially when they are attacking Earth; I'd suggest seeing it in 3D if you can. The cast worked well together, too; part of the reason I liked the film was probably because Sandler was much more toned-down here from his usual "shtick" and him, James, Gad, and Dinklage are a great team. Michelle Monaghan also has a role as a colonel, who Sandler's character meets (and develops a crush on) when he installs home equipment for her son Matty (Matt Lintz).

Yes, see this movie. I've been told recently that saying this is a spoiler, so avert your eyes if you must, but there were a lot of funny cameos in the film as well - the film was very zany in general, but so zany that all of the jokes worked, and the cameos function this way too. The movie reminded me a lot of Wreck-It Ralph, but with humans - Qbert from that film also makes an appearance here, too, and was one of my favorite characters because he is so cute. I've been getting tired of seeing the same-old, same-old at the theaters lately, and Pixels definitely is a unique film that is unlike others I have seen previously.

Pixels is in theaters today, July 24th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 105 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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