I am really not sure how to lead into this one. Generally, I have something to say about the context for a style, genre or filmmaker, but this time I have nothing to say about this abysmal mess of a film that stole my time away like a dementor taking away all the feelings of joy. This is The Emoji Movie directed by presumably human Tony Leondis, written by plausible homo sapiens Leondis, Eric Siegel and Mike White, starring humanoids T.J.Miller Anna Faris, James Corden and Sir Patrick Stewart. It makes me feel better in my self if I can say that the creators of this movie don’t belong in the same sentient species as myself.
Gene is a meh emoji, but he can make different faces. This causes problems in the world of Textopolis, where emoji live on your phone. To try to fit in Gene and a high five emoji that wants to be popular must track down a hacker called Jailbreak to help them off the phone to be reprogrammed.
If the Emoji movie’s plot sounds familiar, that’s because there are literally hundreds of other kid’s movies that have the exact same story. Even The Lego Movie knows that it is a cliche and ridicules the obvious plot points perfectly. I do not refer to the Lego movie lightly, especially as both The Lego Movie and The Emoji movie share so many similarities. As already mentioned they share a plot, they share a journey through strange worlds based on a commercial product, Lego and phones. Perhaps most blatant is the copy and pasting of character designs, the most obvious of which is the wholesale stealing of The Lego Movie’s Wild Style and changing the name to Jailbreak.
However, if it were just a run of the mill story about being yourself for children that apes The Lego Movie just a little too much I wouldn’t feel so dirty after having seen it, and it wouldn’t have gotten a 7% on Rotten Tomatoes. It isn’t even the bad jokes or lazy animation that is behind this atrocious reception. What makes this film so repulsive is that it is so celebratory of consumerist culture. This is a film that feels more like an advert for Sony phones, apps and other bits of useless tat. It is an incredibly insidious, cynical move on the part of Sony animations to just assume that they can make a film out of anything and get away with it, especially when The Emoji Movie screams its true intentions like the billboards from 1988 sci fi cult classic They Live; “Consume our product”.
The Emoji Movie is a film that destroys everything it touches, It destroyed my faith in humanity, as a species that could have created this abomination is doomed to destruction. It also destroys the reputation of the actors involved; even Sir Patrick Stewart will have a little trouble getting away from voicing literal poo! While TJ Miller will have to do a few more Deadpool movies before I can fully accept him again. There is nothing meaty to get a hold of in the film, despite being voiced by big names with big personalities, I couldn’t tell you anything about the characters apart from assigning them clichéd roles and telling you the voice actor. T.J. Miller, Patrick Stewart, James Corden, Maya Rudolph and Anna Faris are charismatic performers, and I genuinely enjoy most of their work, but here there is nothing for them to work with, even if you can tell Maya Rudolph is trying her damndest as Smiler. It’s not like the actors are bad, it’s just that being attached in any way to this cynical, unfunny time sink will forever haunt their careers, like the smell of Poo Patrick! That is apart from Steven Wright and Jennifer Coolidge who do this really irritating monotone all the way through the movie, I think it was supposed to be a joke, but it wasn’t funny at all.
This week I have seen the worst movie without a doubt. I thought that my worst film of the year would be Amy Schumer’s Snatched with its lazy attempts at jokes and awful story, but at least Snatched didn’t leave this awful feeling in my gut that is still there. It didn’t make me feel like a corporate shill, and it doesn’t advertise phones and the Just Dance app to small impressionable children. If I can say anything about The Emoji Movie it would be don’t. Don’t go to see it, don’t give Sony your money to see this pile of trash, don’t give them the go ahead to make more, don’t waste your time, just … just don’t.
You Can Watch The Emoji Movie in Cinemas now (if you really want to)