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Pixels is an action-comedy film released in 2015 and coproduced by Sony Pictures and Happy Madison Productions. Based on the 2010 short film of the same name, the film stars Adam Sandler as Sam Brenner, a down-on-his-luck home theater installer who through a series of events is hired to train the US military in fighting aliens attacking Earth with monsters based on arcade game sprites, including Donkey Kong.
The movie was critically panned, with reviewers complaining about the plot, as well as a perceived sense of lowbrow humor and inaccurate and unflattering portrayal of games and gaming culture, although the special effects were praised. The movie was also a box office bomb, grossing US$245 million on a US$145 million budget.
Mario-related elements in Pixels
The film begins with Sam Brenner playing the original Donkey Kong game and being beaten by Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage), who uses a cheat code (despite the fact that the actual game does not feature cheat codes and doing so would be counter-productive for an arcade game). Donkey Kong haunts Brenner as "the one game he sucks at".
Later in the film, an alien that has taken a form based on Mario's sprite from Donkey Kong can be seen running and jumping across a street, although none of the main characters are seen interacting with him.
The climax of the movie has the cast fight the leader of the alien invasion, who has taken a form based on Donkey Kong and is on a board resembling 25m. Donkey Kong starts throwing barrels. Sam Brenner grabs a Hammer and manages to get to the middle of the board, but has a breakdown when he cannot figure out Donkey Kong's pattern and his insecurity over not being able to win the game. Matty (the son of one of Brenner's clients) then reveals that Eddie Plant cheated, giving Brenner the confidence he needs to get to the top and defeat Donkey Kong.