Just as many people anticipated, ‘Pixels’ ended up becoming another severe miss for Adam Sandler deserving of the 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not even phenomenal supporting cast members Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage could save the video game-inspired sci-fi action comedy from being a botch. But before the film was a feature-length production that basically falls apart the second you start thinking about it even a little bit, it was an acclaimed short by Patrick Jean that saw beloved 8-bit video game characters destroying New York City. So what did the original director think of the final product released by Sony and Happy Madison? Well, he was a lot kinder than most critics.
While speaking to Business Insider about the major motion picture inspired by his two-and-a-half minute short, French filmmaker and artist Jean weighed in on his thoughts regarding what his initial idea turned into after it had gone through the Hollywood process, which he got a taste of before stepping back into an executive producer role. At first, he was set to co-write and direct the film himself, but factors including changes in the movie’s budget caused Jean to pass the reins over to ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ director Chris Columbus. Now, after seeing what has become of his baby after all that, he candidly shares his feelings on ‘Pixels’:
“I think the movie is not perfect, but I like it. I feel the second half of the movie could have been better. But I know they had budget issues, they had to cut some stuff… It’s a light action comedy movie and that’s what we wanted to do in the first place.”
I don’t mind a “light action comedy,” especially during the summer when moviegoers typically find sanctuary in the theater to escape the heat, but ‘Pixels’ was just terribly written. As Jean says, the second half of the movie needed a lot of work. One moment in particular that comes to mind is when (SPOILER ALERT, even though you don’t really need to waste your time watching the movie anyway) it’s revealed that Peter Dinklage’s character was using cheat codes. Not only did the film not address how the aliens found out about this infraction, there was no way for them to know that he was cheating from the archival footage that they received from 1982. I could go on and on about how the writers didn’t really know how to end the movie or how they included characters that weren’t even found in arcades in 1982 or how the female characters were portrayed or the fact that no one would elect Kevin James as the POTUS, I’ll just post the original short so that people can remember how much potential this property had in the beginning of it all:
What do you think about Patrick Jean’s comments about ‘Pixels’? Do you think that the movie would have been any different had the filmmaker behind the short stayed in the director’s chair and maintained a more active role in the production? And does anyone else feel like watching ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ again just to remember how a movie can properly celebrate the characters of our favorite arcade games? Sound off in the comments below.