North Texas Daily

The Dose: ‘Pixels’ brings the laughs, lags

The Dose: ‘Pixels’ brings the laughs, lags

The Dose: ‘Pixels’ brings the laughs, lags
July 22
14:37 2015

Erica Wieting | Senior Staff Writer

Sam Brenner was a champion video gamer as a kid in the 1980s.

Now he works as an officially-titled “nerd” who fixes electronics in peoples’ homes, but it’s about to be his job to save the planet from an unexpected foe.

The classic video games of the ‘80s are back, and this time they’re deadly.

When intergalactic aliens intercept decades-old feeds of classic games from Earth, they misinterpret them as a declaration of war. Now they want to destroy the planet. And they’re attacking it in the form of the video games. This is “Pixels.”

A virtual presence mimicking the video game “Galaga” is the first to attack Earth. The situation quickly becomes a national emergency, and President of the United States Will Cooper (Kevin James) calls on his longtime friend Brenner (Adam Sandler) for advice.

In a compelling mixture of action and comedy, Brenner must battle the virtual monsters of his past with long-lost schoolmate Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad). The two are hilariously unequipped for traditional warfare, but their video game experience makes them the unexpected heroes in this cybernetic fight.

Despite one or two lags in the storyline, Sandler’s reliably goofy, kind-hearted character couples with Gad’s side-splitting antics to keep the audience entertained. Assisted by Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a weapons specialist in the president’s employ, Brenner and Lamonsoff must defeat the aliens at their own games.

They are forced to recruit the help of felon Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage), an old enemy of Brenner’s and another champion gamer as a child, for an attack that has taken the form of the game he’s best at — “Space Invaders.” Dinklage’s dry, sarcastic wit brings a new level of comedy to the film.

Each battle grows more intense. The unlikely heroes blast their way through life-sized video games with equal amounts of success and failure.

From the beginning credits to the admittedly predictable ending, James and Sandler entertain the audience with their witty banter and unorthodox battle strategies. The film keeps the audience laughing but often sends them to the edges of their seats: a well-produced and tasteful mix of action and comedy.

Move over, “Call of Duty.” The classics are back.

Featured Photos | Columbia Pictures

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