Save your quarters: A review of Pixels

Pixels (2015)

Pixels (2015)

I’ll admit, I liked the look of this film from the trailers, it looked like a fun summer blockbuster ride. Then the reviews came out and I began to doubt, now, having seen it, I’m sure it’s not a total disaster, it does, as I predicted, have an element of fun to it. Beyond that, is forgettable, clichéd and despicable, to the point that it has got lots of people angry, which I completely agree with.

Pixels is a film with the air of a late 90’s blockbuster, the silly but fun sort, yet it’s been infected with a horrid taste of sexism and contempt. Frankly, Adam Sandler doesn’t belong in this film, Chris Columbus, the director of Harry Potter and Home Alone, directed it, and these aren’t two sensibilities that should mix. Where the film succeeds is with Columbus, taking hold of a number of fairly enjoyable set pieces and bringing a classic blockbuster style to them.

Sandler, however, seems to have injected the film with low humour, lazy off the cuff jokes, calling people, Harry Potter and Gandalf (Hilarious!), and a degree of sexism that rewards women as trophies. The male heroes are slackers, stuck in the past, treating women as things, but are somehow still beloved, Sandler essentially plays the same role he’s always played which, in turn, makes the film feel lazy.

This might not necessarily be due to him of course, the writers may be to blame, but this feels very much like a Sandler vehicle. This is a film in which Kevin James plays the president, you know, the guy who played Paul Blart, a man who only seems to have career because of Sandler vehicles. It’s a such a shame that talented people like Columbus or Michelle Monaghan are involved in this highly distasteful film which has fairly caused much derision.

To be fair to the film it had some good stuff about it, I just think that if this is a film that you need to show to children, then it needs to be able to teach them important lessons, or, for a blockbuster, mustn’t have anything that can adversely affect their minds.

Mainly the effects are great, they are giant computer game characters blown to great proportions and they look really effective, especially when they begin to destroy buildings. Even when there are some incredibly shoddy pieces of green screen, the design of the aliens is interesting to watch and nicely done.

Other than that, the film does hold a certain degree of entertainment value, the action scenes are suitably action packed and Chris Columbus does a good job of making it feel like a proper movie. It doesn’t tend to stretch beyond that though. The film has one good laugh and maybe a titter, but beyond that it isn’t funny. The performances of the cast are fairly annoying, Josh gad yells everything and the always great Peter Dinklage is the rival to Sandler that just might work in the film.

Also, Brian Cox and Sean Bean put in small performances that are the most caricature of caricatures. In the end this is a film that is a run of the mill blockbuster fair, unfunny comedy and has no respect for anyone other than white males. It essentially displays gamers as horrible people who steal quarters from little girls, girls who definitely wont be playing any games, nope, nada. It’s not exactly a positive addition to the gamergate argument either.

C  4/10

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