With Pixels, Hollywood has put the final nail in the coffin of popular nerd culture in movies.
Video games have come a long way, from being the domain of dank basements and cramped arcades to occupying a space in almost every home in America. They are a big business now and they garner millions of dollars every year, with each blockbuster game costing more to make than the last. As a whole, movies based on video game franchises have not been good, Super Mario Bros and Street Fighter being some of the best/worst examples, but at least they tried somewhat to stick to the source material.
Pixels is the cinematic equivalent of a shady pimp that whores out classic gaming icons to the lowest bidder. “Oh you like Pac-Man? He’s right here for you, man. Ten bucks and he’ll do anything you want for an hour and a half. If you’re into threesomes, I can get Donkey Kong in that action for a little extra!”.
In a world where Paul Blart (Kevin James) is president of the United States — seriously, I’m not making this up — aliens are attacking the planet with video game characters and only prodigy gamer Adam Sandler, the guy from Game Of Thrones (Peter Dinklage) and low budget Jonah Hill (Josh Gad) can save us. It’s literally the same plot as the “Anthology of Interest II” episode of Futurama— except it lacks all of the sharp writing and witty humor from that show.
The premise could have been interesting if one single person in the production of this film gave an iota of shit about video games; but it’s painfully obvious that nobody cared. Every single actor is phoning it in, and it’s excruciating to have to watch each and every “joke” uttered struggle and die, shuddering as it gasps its final breath. It’s the absolute bottom of the barrel pandering I have ever witnessed, and I’m sure each line of script was ran through a focus group over and over again until it became the utter incarnation and definition of lowest common denominator.
Yeah. You know you wanna.
(Special shout to Michelle Kisner & Chris George for the review share!)