ByChristina Nguyen, writer at
Adventuring out-words
Christina Nguyen

A lot of people left theatres after watching Adam Sandler’s new film with a few salty kernels stuck in their teeth but mostly a sour taste in their mouths. Critics and general audiences are mostly disappointed with Sandler’s newest CGI beast of a film, Pixels. With a great premise and amazing supporting cast, viewers were hoping Sandler would emerge from his recent lack-luster efforts with a shiny gem that will whisk audiences away with nostalgic flair.

Despite the high hopes for a good action comedy, Pixels fell into all the archetypes of a Sandler movie with the usual sarcastic childish man inserted into a contrived series of events. Pixels had a marvellous set up, interesting cast and PAC MAN but still strayed a little too far from amazing. Here’s three things critics wished Pixels would have done:

Focused Plot

The film was jam packed with nostalgic arcade game characters including Pac man, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong and so it pulled on the heart strings of the inner child of all the gamers who spent their youths in the arcade. The movie was like Godzilla meets Ghostbusters and had it delivered to us a more focused story and less bloated film, there's no doubt that Pixels would have been an instant Summer hit. The supporting cast did their best with the dialogue they were given. The shining star was Peter Dinklage, who looks like he's having a blast in his role. However, it's sad to say that even with the amazing supporting cast the lazy dialogue and lack of direction really let the movie down.

Stronger Characters (especially female ones)

The 2015 film matched the amount of CGI 80’s classics with a number of underdeveloped characters that didn't really elevate the film in any way. It's like Sandler never graduated from his Billy Madison days and returns here with his usual man child act, to the disappointment of most viewers who were wishing for a more refreshing performance from the 48 year old.

Being a very boy centric movie, there was no big stand out female star. The film does try to heighten the value of their female character by giving them some action scenes or a sword to swing, but it felt superficial. In the end, most of the women needed a man to save them. There was literally one scene where a woman was presented as a trophy to Sandler's character. With a more developed bank of characters, Pixels would have elevated into a much more well-recieved action comedy.

Better Humour for Target Audience

Pixels was a bit confusing because it’s plays on 80s nostalgia but is too childish to appeal to the older audiences. Thus, the humour fell flat as most of the references were lost on the young generation. The jokes half-handedly put together sometimes depending on a lot of pointing out references for a few laughs. Pixels deserved more well-written jokes and should have taken advantage of the comedic chops of their actors to become a film that could appeal to both children and their parents and every age in between. If nothing more, kids would enjoy the bright CGI characters and colourful landscape but there wasn't really anything for the older crowd.

In the end, its was just another Adam Sandler movie trying to disguise itself as an epic action adventure but it was harmless. The CGI looked amazing and the young kids would definitely appreciate seeing such high def colours roaming around on screen. But we wished it lived up to its potential. With a more succinct direction, better developed characters and stronger comedy, the film would have been much more successful and could have been a 2015 favourite to many people.

So, what do you think about Pixels?


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