When aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper has to call on his childhood best friend, '80s video game champion Jules Brenner, now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders to defeat the aliens and save the planet.
Directed by: Chris Columbus
. Starring: Adam Sandler
, Kevin James
, Michelle Monaghan
, Peter Dinklage
, Josh Gad
, Matt Lintz
, Brian Cox
, Sean Bean
, Jane Krakowski
, Dan Aykroyd
, Affion Crockett
, Lainie Kazan
, Ashley Benson
. Music by: Henry Jackman
Okay, a movie paying tribute to 80s video games was always going to attract my attention, but to be honest with you I never expected the film to be anywhere near as good, or even as silly, as this one. Actually, when it comes to silliness I probably shouldn't have been at all surprised, especially since we have a movie where the characters from these old video games attack Earth, and any movie in which the major characters are chasing Pacman around New York City in coloured mini coopers is definitely not going to be on the serious list.
However, when it comes to silly movies there are those that are just plain silly and you spend the entire movie shaking your head wandering what possessed even the conservative powers that be in Hollywood to come up with such a concept, and then you get classic Adam Sandler. In fact, ever since The Waterboy I simply no longer expected Sandler to come anywhere near the level of the films that launched him to stardom -' yet here we have Pixels and here we have Sandler back to his hilarious best.
Yep, that's right -' not only is the film about how characters from 1980s video games invade the Earth, but it is actually really, really funny as well. Okay, at the beginning where we are introduced to a young Sam Brenner who knows how to beat video games by reading the patterns but losing to a dwarf at the world championships and thus being only the second-best video gamer in the world, it seems that it is simply going to be your standard silly movie. However jump to the present where it turns out that Sam Brenner's best friend has become the President of the United States, and they still catch up for a regular chat, you suddenly realise that it is going to be one of those movies and you know that you aren't supposed to take it seriously.
This film brought back an awful lot of memories, but then again I suspect that this was the film's main purpose: to remind us children of the 80s of all the fun that we used to have down at the video arcades playing classic games such as Space Invaders, Frogger, and Centipede. Sure, you can still play those games over the internet, but as Sam suggested, games these days simply aren't the same. They don't run on patterns but rather on the principle of trying to stay alive as long as possible (and if that doesn't work then pressing the reset key). In fact they brought back lots of the characters that we remember from the golden days of computer gaming, including Donkey Kong (which was one of the original platform games).
I guess I can also relate to Sam somewhat, being a kid who spent as much time as possible trying to beat computer games and then landing up in an ordinary job simply because computer game skills are simply not transferable. Sure, Sam is a computer geek, but his best friend became the President of the United States while he is installing hardware in people's houses. He even displays the geeky tendencies of simply not being able to relate to women in the way that most people are able to relate to them (though a part of that has to do with the silliness of the entire film). Of course, it does run along the standard Hollywood storyline where the protagonist, whom society has passed by, becomes the saviour of the world (and gets the girl in the end).
While I don't want to spoil the film, I have to say that I loved the end credits. Once again it brings back memories of the days when computer graphics were incredibly basic -' not the almost life like incarnations of games that you get these days. While it is promoted as a kids movie (particularly with the trailers for the films at the beginning), in many ways this is a film for those of us who spent way to much time pumping quarters into games at the local video arcade, or stuck in front of our Commodore 64s relentlessly trying to get that frog across the road.
Review by david-sarkies from the Internet Movie Database.