Pixels illuminates the gaming world

Movie Review

By Whitney Crinklaw


Pixels (2015) is an action-packed film, which revolves around the life of a world-famous gamer, by the name of Sam Brenner (played by Adam Sandler). Other main characters, placed alongside him are Cooper (played by Kevin James), Violet (played by Michelle Monaghan), Eddie (played by Peter Dinklage), and Ludlow (played by Josh Gad). Sandler hired both Tim Herlihy and Chris Colombus, to be a part of the production of Pixels. Chris Colombus worked as the director, while Tim Herlihy helped compile the screenplay.

The movie contains plenty of action, animation, and humor; in turn, causing much laughter and excitement for its audience. However, the target audience seems to be more along the lines of young adults, as well as the older generation, such as parents due to some strong language and the old time era of the games. Featured arcade games presented throughout the movie include Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, and Frogger.

The movie starts by showing a flashback of Brenner, with his best friend Cooper, at the World Championship for gamers. Brenner wins every game, advancing round by round, until he goes up against a boy by the name of Eddie in the finals, only to lose at his most favorite game, Donkey Kong. He is devastated, but moves on, shell shocked by how Eddie could have beaten him.

We then flash fpixels vertical graphicorward to Brenner’s adult years, where he works in Washington D.C., as a technician, who installs home systems. He is still close to Cooper, who is now the President of the United States. Brenner installs a home system for a woman named Violet; However, they end of on the wrong foot when she insults him and he calls her, “snobby and uptight.”

A variety of humorous content takes place at Violet’s house between her and Brenner. For example, Brenner goes to say, “Nerds are the best kissers. We appreciate it more.” Another example is when Violet says, “You haven’t brushed your teeth today?” and he says, “I ate a tic-tac.” We soon find their conversation temporarily draw to a close, as they both leave the house, to continue on with their work.

Later in the movie, Ludlow, Brenner’s childhood friend, kidnaps Brenner and informs him, “Aliens are sending creatures with classic video game designs to attack. A tape of manipulated footage was found and seen as a threat; they are using the video games as a challenge. If they win three rounds, they will claim the Earth.” Due to the Ludlow’s strange personality, it only creates the perfect amount of humor, next to Adam Sandler’s comedic genius.

The movie progresses as Brenner, Cooper, Violet, Eddie, and Ludlow continue to fight back against the alien invasion, by defeating each game. Towards the end marks a wide array of action-packed suspense, as we see a new side of Brenner (one I’m not permitted to tell) as he fights the hardest battle of all, not only a game, but one of his past.

Therefore, the movie was well written and grabs its audience, by luring them in, minute by minute. The movie is one that the whole family can enjoy, while taking into consideration the age of the children, because each parent has their own judgement of what they want their child to see. However, Pixels is a unique movie that brings back memories of one’s childhood, in turn, causing him/her to laugh and smile along with the characters; one can’t help but enjoy himself/herself.

Pixels did have a couple of scenes that felt mundane, such as when an excessive amount of action would take place. However, the movie would have it’s ways of reviving the audience once more. I couldn’t help but remember my childhood gaming days of Pac-Man, and many others. Thinking of such memories, caused me to exit the movie theater with a smile on my face, and warmth in my heart, leaving me with nothing but the feeling of satisfaction.