The 1980s were the era of video games. One of their heroes was “Pac-Man,” who looks like a yellow pizza from which a piece has been cut.
From today’s point of view, »Donkey Kong«, a chunky gorilla who rolls barrels on an inclined plane, looks just as bizarre as this figure. The first video games have long since landed in museum showcases – game over. But not for the three weird heroes in Chris Columbus’ comedy Pixelswhich runs on Thursday at 8:15 p.m. on Vox.
adult Sam (Adam Sandler), Eddie (Peter Dinklage) and Ludlow (Josh Gad) were the greatest champions of video games as kids. Now grown up, they look rather sad. Slightly overweight Sam works as a TV technician and makes house calls in orange work clothes. Eddie is in jail for cheating, and loner Ludlow still has no friends. He lives with his grandmother and creates conspiracy theories.
But then the game starts all over again: The very dumb US President Will Cooper (Kevin James) hires his three friends Sam, Eddie and Ludlow to fight against aliens who are destroying the world with the help of characters from old video games that have become real want. And the nerds still know their way around “Pac-Man” and the like. The rest is a shooting game.
3D technology Laser cannons are used to shoot bulky pixel monsters that look as if they were made of Lego bricks. And then things break into a thousand pieces. Then one would like to call: clean up the children’s room. Visually it’s not very exciting, the possibilities of 3D technology are hardly used.
Not an easy game for the flesh-and-blood crew: Even a seasoned comedian like Adam Sandler has a lot of trouble getting a laugh or two in this film. Peter Dinklage is used to being bizarre (game of Thrones), the British character actor Brian Cox is allowed to play a grumpy admiral. Michelle Monaghan plays a military expert.
Short film The plot of Pixels is very constructed and weird. The comedy, which was inspired by the short film of the same name by Patrick Jean from 2010, can’t really convince. Director Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), who was born in 1958 himself, indulges in 80s nostalgia at the beginning.
The obligatory bonanza bicycles roll through the picture, the young Madonna is already there, and an icon of this time has a nice guest appearance: Dan Aykroyd, the cool comedian from Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters. But it is precisely the charm and wit of these films that is largely missed in Pixels. dpa