Pixels – Should I Watch It?
Intro to… Pixels
Pixels is a film about Adam Sandler and video games, two things that have consistently proven to not work well with movies. But under the right circumstances two negatives can create a positive. So will this movie set a new high score or is it game over from the start?
The World Championship Arcade Gaming, it is every kid’s dream to win this tournament. In 1982 arcade gaming has become a big part of pop culture and this year’s tournament had a special surprise. Not only was it a chance to show off your gaming prowess, the tournament would also be recorded, put into a time capsule, and shot into space.
Sam Brenner and William Cooper are best friends attend the event with the hopes of winning. They quickly become friends with Ludlow Lamonsoff, a gaming prodigy, due to their shared love of gaming. The tournament progresses and Sam makes it to the finals where he has to take on holding champion and all-round douche Eddie Plant. The two have a close match but in the end Eddie comes out on top.
Flash-forward to today and Sam (Adam Sandler) has still not shaken off his defeat. He squandered his potential and makes his living installing home theatre systems. William (Kevin James), on the other hand, has become president of the United States but has a hard time running the country.
When aliens suddenly attack with weapons that look and act like old arcade games William calls in Sam to advice on how to deal with this. The military proves to be inept so they call in Ludlow (Josh Gad) and Eddie (Peter Dinklage) to join the fight.
Should I Watch It?
I really dislike this film. Not only because of the ridiculous story, the horrendous acting, and innumerable inconsistencies, though that certainly did not help, but because of the protagonist’s backstory and motivation.
Let us talk Sam. His life fell into to pieces because he lost a video game in the final of the world championship. Now, being bummed out about losing is understandable, especially when we are talking about a kid. But this loss influenced his entire life. Not being the best in the entire world on his first try caused this kid such a severe emotional trauma that he instantly developed something akin to atychiphobia.
This movie tells us that if you are not the absolute best, you suck. This is not an overstatement. The script blatantly says it. Sam lost the championship over a game of Donkey Kong, and the second an alien pixelated Donkey Kong appears he gets told this was the game he sucked at. There is no love for the runner-up.
Even if video games were the most important thing in life. Becoming the second best gamer of the entire world on your first try would be an incredible feat. It is an achievement that should be celebrated. Family and friends would be proud of you, and you should be motivated to practice and become even better. This movie could have been about a Sam that was proud of his achievement but never amounted to much afterwards and finally had a shot to be relevant again. Or about a Sam overcoming his depression by discovering that he is capable of more than just arcade games.
To be honest, this would probably not have made up for its flaws. It would still be a terrible movie, and I would still not recommend it. But it would at least have one positive thing about it.
No, don’t watch it.