“The Emoji Movie”

LOUISA: 1.5 STARS


LOUISA SAYS:

“The Emoji Movie” isn’t quite as god-awful as you’d think and it’s not as dumb as you’d expect, but that doesn’t mean it’s any good. This ninety minute long commercial exists only for the sole purpose of trying to cash in on the big business of tween and teen dollars by endlessly referencing their popular smartphone culture. There’s not much of a plot and what’s there is so mundane that it’s not even classifiable as mildly creative. Watch as the thinly developed characters wander into name brand app after app, from YouTube and Facebook to DropBox and Spotify. Did Apple finance this project?

It’s not funny and all of the attempted jokes fall flat. Every. Single. One. I’m not even sure what could’ve fixed this problem, because the voice talent (while not very good) is better than it should be (considering the junk dialogue that T.J. Miller, James Corden and Anna Faris have to work with), the friendships between the characters is at least believable, and there’s a positive message about celebrating individuality and always being yourself. The computer language aspects of the movie aren’t even lazy, it’s just the uninspired animation and the tiresome ideas are so indifferent that this project feels like a feature length commercial for Facebook, Candy Crush, and Spotify that’s been stripped of all fun and laughs.

“The Emoji Movie” doesn’t really cater to kids and it doesn’t really cater to adults, meaning that nobody will enjoy this moviegoing experience. The very idea of emojis living in the colorful world of Textopolis might be lame, but this surefire kid-borer does get the tech nerd aspects right and is — gasp! — unexpectedly clever at times. If your kid’s into coding and hacking, I suppose they might relate to this movie.

What’s so amusing about this movie is that, like the “meh” emoji, it’s kinda boring, sorta funny, and totally pointless.

4 comments

  1. Great review Louisa, even though I do not agree. It is not “totally pointless” and does not deserve universal panning. It is a satire on modern communications; not brillaint but still raises lots of interesting questions. Decades from now it will be dug up and studied as a whimsical cultural artefact that portrays the imagined relationship between humanity and digital communication. Researchers will ask why hieroglyphics returned as a universal language and why humans came to rely on homogenised icons to convey meaning.

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      1. Being willing to defend it is not the same as liking it. The film has obvious flaws and the blatant endorsements are only a minor one. But I am surprised that so few people are commenting on the film’s meta-message. With a better script it could have been a classic. Still, it has made me think about how emoji shapes and is shaped by mass culture and that made the film worth watching.

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