The premise is simple: aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a hostile act of war and so in preemptive retaliation, they send characters including Pac Man, Donkey Kong, the Space Invaders and more, from those same video games back to destroy earth. Call it a high concept comedy that taps into arcade nostalgia for the 1980s and the golden age of video games. If it sounds silly, well, it is an Adam Sandler film. Written by Tim Herlihy, a frequent collaborator of the actor, Sandler haters should know, it’s also coming from the mind of Chris Columbus, the crowd-pleasing four-quadrant director of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001), “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002), “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993) and “Home Alone” (1990) to name a few.
The movie stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan, Brian Cox, Ashley Benson, and Jane Krakowski. The human element of the plot is that former 1980s video game champions are enlisted by the U.S. governments to help defend off this arcade-inspired alien attack. They’re the guys who beat these games in the first case of course. Here’s the official synopsis:
As kids in the 1980s, Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant (Peter Dinklage) saved the world thousands of times – at 25 cents a game in the video arcades. Now, they’re going to have to do it for real. In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens discover video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth, using the video games as the models for their assaults — and now-U.S. President Cooper must call on his old-school arcade friends to save the world from being destroyed by PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Centipede, and Space Invaders. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.
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Due in theaters July 24th, Columbia Pictures has new domestic and international trailers for the film. While it’s likely not going to make any new converts, it’ll be interesting if the video game aspect of the film and its bigger scope will catch on in a big way this summer. We’ll find out soon enough. Watch the trailer below and tell us what you think.