The Emoji Movie Review

Name:

The Emoji Movie

Budget:

50 million (USD) Approx

Studio:

Sony Pictures Animation

Genre:

Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

USA: 28th July 2017

UK: 4th August 2017

Run Time:

86 minutes

Director

Tony Leondis

Product Rating:

BBFC (UK): 12A

MPAA (USA): PG-13

Reviewer:

Sarcastic Bulldog

Review Score:

5/100 (5%)

Disclosure:

 

 

 

Sony Animation reaches new lows with a big load of Emoji’s 

The Emoji Movie follows the story of the secret world within your smart phone! Emoji’s live to serve their phones owner by relaying their Emoji face to the owner's screen (in this case young teenage boy Alex’s phone) and all the Emoji’s live in Textopolis. Each Emoji is supposed to only have their one expression except for Gene (T.J Miller) who has a ‘defect’ that enables him to express different Emoji expressions instead of just his Meh! When Gene messes up his first day on the job and can’t pull off his Meh expression, he seeks to become normal via enlisting help from his friend Hi-5 (James Gordon).

 

Hi-5 leads him to code hacker Jailbreak (Anna Faris) who helps to change Gene’s coding and make him a pure Meh Emoji by going to the ‘cloud’. Together Gene, High-5 and Jail Break go on an App-venture across Alex’s phone via travelling multiple apps including YouTube, Instagram, Candy Crush, Twitter, Just Dance, Spotify and much more. To add to the supposed drama Gene and friends are being pursued by Emoji Smiler (Maya Rudolph) who is in charge of Textopolis. Emoji Smiler seeks to delete Gene with her evil robot minions. Alex sends his phone to the phone shop for deletion within four hours by setting a deadline on his phone as he thinks it is faulty due to Gene’s failed Emoji face. In addition to all these story lines going on, there is also Alex’s who is trying to impress a girl at his school but can’t seem to get it right as he can’t find the right Emoji to impress her (yes, someone was genuinely paid to write this plot!)

 

 

The story behind the Emoji movie is so more intriguing than the actual film! Sony actually won the rights to this film in a bidding war and grabbed it from the claws of two other bidding companies (seven figure bids involved apparently), and then three writers at Sony realised they actually had to think and find a way to write a plot out of dam Emojis! As source material this is a struggle for anyone to work with, I’m amazed they could get anything out of this steaming piece of poop Emoji! In all fairness to the film, the animation is well done considering what a low budget the film had for an animation (50 million USD)! They managed to acquire a strong cast of actors which helps prop up the film including stars such as T.J Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Steven Wright, Jennifer Coolidge and Sir Patrick Stuart. They were so proud of having Patrick Stuart; all credits and promotional material included the ‘sir’, but more on that later. But seriously dang what a waste of talent!

 

I honestly don’t think I’ve face palmed so many times in one film ever in a cinema. Sat in a screen with five other people, I heard one chuckle at one point during the screening but total silence the rest! For a film that describes itself as a comedy, there was such little wit or intelligent commentary within the film; I genuinely think I gave a slight chuckle at maybe two jokes, one about emoticons being elderly and a scene involving internet trolls literally being trolls. In addition to this there is an inappropriate joke for children at the end of the Candy Crush scene which involves the imagined death of a character involving Gene exploding. The film just has no idea of what it wants to be and just knows we expect good messages in family films. As a result, the writers decided just to rip ideas left right, and centre from far superior family flicks such the Lego movie, Wreck it Ralph and Inside out. Sony, however, fails even to give a meaningful or right message to children! The Emoji Movie tries to say it’s okay to be different and embrace a world full of different expressions, which is perfectly fine. However in the same film Jail break is discovered to be the princess Emoji, but she didn’t want to be a stereotype and conform to the norm! But in one scene Hi-5 asks if she can call birds by whistling like in Disney cartoons of old (total stereotype). Jail Break makes this big speech about no, she’s not a stereotype, doesn’t conform, and she’s a strong independent woman who doesn’t need to fall into that category! Less than five minutes later she does exactly what she said she wouldn’t, and becomes a stereotype by whistling like a princess! Confused message for children or what? Plus why is such a forced random feminist moment like that even necessary it adds nothing of value and they contradict it anyway!

 

 

Now let’s talk about Poop! Yeah, they got Sir Patrick Stuart to play the poop Emoji, well done Sony! He appears for maybe two minutes top in an hour and a half movie! Patrick Stuart has said in interviews he was simply hired because it was a joke that they could have such a classically well-known actor play such a low role. Simply a pay check for Stuart but I do feel sorry for him; it is a joke that was not worth having on his resume! Plus of course, there’s a star trek reference with one joke where the headquarters of Textopolis is getting destroyed, and the poop Emoji sits in a captain chair and says “we have a problem”; pure shit!

 

 

 

I also need to talk about the obnoxious and horrifically forced product placement the entire film berates you with it! This is a family film that young impressionable kids are going to see and the film is nothing but trying to sell apps! I am more than aware of product placement in other films, but at least in most cases, there is some degree of subtly or logic to its presence in the environment like Coke-Cola in a restaurant as an example. With this film, it constantly mentions the blatant product placements and even hinges entire sections of the plot on it. It’s so obvious and vomit inducing that Sony is pushing this so hard on impressionable children.

 

In addition to the forced product placements that are inappropriately done the film as a whole has some questionable underlying themes. If you think about it carefully having watched the film the Emojis stuck in their little boxes being poked and prodded are being treated like slaves performing at the whim of their master. In addition to this the film also encourages expression via Emojis exclusively to the detriment of the use of written and verbal language, and other forms of expression; the film devalues language stating people should exclusively communicate via Emojis in the opening scene. For a film that claims to be about inclusiveness, acceptance and freedom of expression, regardless of what form it takes, it is essentially telling children that Emojis are essential to proper communication, acceptance and that they should conform to the use of simplified and boiled down expressions rather than choosing the way that best suits that individual and the situation in which it is being used. This is already a problem with younger people glued to their phones and opting to express via micro-content such as vines and memes; simplified to the extreme to favour quick and easy to digest automated responses which looses all its value via the very robotic and oversimplified nature of itself. Sony really should feel ashamed. The film lacks integrity and artistic value (artistically bankrupt if you like). I’m completely disgusted, bored and damn right insulted by this film and the fact it even exists and is aimed at presenting a poor message to impressionable children.

 

This is hands down the worst film of the year so far, and I highly doubted this train wreck will be surpassed! Such a shame as I full well know this will makes its money back where as animation films like Kubo & The Two Strings from last year is a film of such artist expression and has an important message to share but got ignored completely at the cinema! Don’t watch The Emoji Movie it is utter garbage pure and simple. Shame on you Sony! Scoring this 5/100 (5%).

 

 

 

 

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