Pixels (2015) – Review

PIXELS (1.5/4): A nostalgic, big-themed Pixels is muddled up with stereotypical genre-cliches and imbalance story-telling; making sure that the arcade is better left closed before being revisited.

Pac-Man’s the bad guy?” Sam Brenner shouted.

Extra-terrestrial beings received mankind’s sincere message—in a form of recording of the 80s arcade game competition—but mistakenly took that as a threat. Result is, the Earth is invaded by a colony of aliens taking forms of those 80s video game characters, like Pac-Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong, etc.

To save the world, a former arcade-game championship runner up, Sam Brenner (Sandler) teamed up with his old friend—now the U.S. president (James), his old gaming folk, Ludlow (Gad) and his arch-enemy, Fire Blaster (Dinklage). Oh, not to forget a military love-interest, Violet (Monaghan). 

What happen next, Sandler leads his bunch of “fools” with his average level of comic charisma (that slowly fades) turning a big idea into a quite lazy movie. Bringing up those classic video-game icons as mislead foes, in fact, did not make quite a nostalgic feeling (like how Wreck-it Ralph did it); but, turns out Pixels is muddled up with stereotypical genre-cliches and imbalance story-telling.

While the humor is, sometimes, working as killing punches but, most of the time, it brings the movie nowhere. Meaning to say, the humor isn’t quite a dynamic one, but rather some stuffed ideas to mend the limped story-telling. Seemingly, Pixels is lost in making some kid-friendly jokes, which do not quite live up the standard, or presenting a nostalgic materials, which only kids from the 80s get emotionally attached.

Only some touch of well-polished CGI and some references to the 80s pop culture give Pixels some extra scores—in the eye of the less-alienated beholder. In the end, Sandler as actor-producer and Chris Columbus as director-producer did not successfully turn this fresh “could-be-amazing” theme into a fresh “big” movie in terms of story-telling and impression. The arcade should have been stayed closed.

VERDICT: A nostalgic, big-themed Pixels is muddled up with stereotypical genre-cliches and imbalance story-telling; making sure that the arcade is better left closed before being revisited.

Pixels (2015)

Action,Comedy, Sci-Fi Director: Chris Columbus Written by: Tim Herlihy & Timothy Dowling Starred by: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad Running Time: 106 mins Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments


This review of Pixels (2015) is written and translate into Bahasa Indonesia by Paskalis Damar.

Alien menangkap pesan umat manusia—dalam wujud video game serta rekaman kompetisi game arcade dekade 80-an—yang sayangnya mereka anggap sebagai pesan ancaman.

Akibatnya, Bumi diserang oleh alien dengan wujud karakter-karakter game populer tahun 80-an, seperti Pac-Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong, dsb.

Untuk menyelamatkan dunia, mantan runner-up kompetisi arcade, Sam Brenner (Sandler) bergabung dengan teman masa kecilnya—yang kini jadi presiden AS (James), teman gaming-nya, Ludlow (Gad), serta mantan musuh besarnya, Eddie the Fire Blaster (Dinklage). Tak ketinggalan, love-interest Brenner yang badass, Violet (Monaghan).

Kejadian selanjutnya: Sandler dengan comic charisma-nya yang seperti standarnya belakangan ini malah memimpin yang lain menjadikan film dengan ide besar ini film yang malas. Ikon video game klasik yang dijadikan musuh gagal menghasilkan efek nostalgia yang pas (bandingkan saja dengan Wreck-it Ralph); malahan, Pixels mencampurnya dengan genre-cliches dan penceritaan yang tidak imbang.

Humornya memang kadang cukup menghibur, tapi gagal mengarahkan plot filmnya. Artinya, humornya tidak dinamis dan hanya menjadi filler untuk plot yang kurang berkembang.

Pixels seperti kebingungan ingin menyasar penonton anak-anak dengan jokes yang kadang kelewatan atau penonton dewasa dengan nostalgia masa 80-an dengan tidak optimal.

Hanya CGI-nya yang cukup mengesankan dan referensi pop culture dekade 80-an yang menyelamatkan Pixels—di mata penonton yang tidak “merasa asing” dengan materinya. Intinya, Sandler dan Columbus tidak berhasil mengolah tema yang “harusnya” bisa keren ini menjadi hit.

Arcade memang sudah seharusnya dilupakan. Thanks Pixels.

4 comments on “Pixels (2015) – Review

  1. Setuju, idenya keren tapi eksekusinya kurang greget. Penyelesaian konfliknya pun terlalu mudah padahal si Q*Bert pernah bilang kalo dulu dunianya damai hingga pesan manusia membuat kedamaian itu hilang. Dan tidak ada solusi dari masalah yg disampaikan Q*Bert, tiba2 para alien pergi.

  2. I’m one who would really enjoy the video game nostalgia, but Sandler has become an instant turn-off to me. Looks like this is another wasted opportunity.

    Nice review.

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