Chris Columbus’ latest movie, Pixels, supports the idea many teens have that gaming is good for you. Enter the world’s best gamers: Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), the prodigy who can see through patterns in a game; Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), the genius who is in love with Lady Lisa of Dojo Quest; Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage), aka the Fireblaster; and Will Cooper (Kevin James), the President of the United States of America. When aliens come across some video games, and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, it’s up to the hardcore geeks to save the day.
There’s a lot to like. The incorporation of animated video games into real life was very well-done, with buildings shattering into tiny little pixel cubes, almost as if Minecraft came to life. The end credits are also very interesting: the movie’s main plot points are replayed, only in the form of an animated video game.
There are also some brilliantly funny moments: failed romantic advances, dry humour, and cute little critters bouncing all across New York City.
However, the potentially intriguing idea of merging the world of arcaders with reality crashes completely when suspense deflates all of a sudden. Tension is built up steadily, but when the final Donkey Kong match arrives, the clichéd, dull ending undoes all the goodness of what came before.
Still, this is a decent blend of sci-fi, action and comedy, and definitely one gamers and nerds alike should watch for some serious comic relief.