Using the poo emoji as a review would be too comic – better likened to the cataclysmic trip to the toilet that follows an outrageously colourful energy drink.
Not many people would look down at the emojis on our phones and think of the immense potential for a film, but that’s what the geniuses over at Sony did. In what feels like the brainfart of the laziest creative meeting in history, The Emoji Movie is a soul-crushing, insultingly terrible catastrophe, lacking any merit or message that could even justify its existence.
The story goes like this; Gene (TJ Miller), a Meh emoji, is forced to go on a journey to fix himself after he cannot control his emotions and nearly ruins everything. Sounding vaguely familiar? We’ll get that in a second.
Gene lives alongside the other emojis including Smiler (Maya Rudolph), Hi-5 (voiced by a sadly aggravating James Corden), Poop (voiced by Patrick Stewart – really) and Smiler. Together they live inside a young boy’s phone and pop up when needed to show his emotions. Sound even more familiar? That’s because it is the most blatant rip off of Disney’s Inside Out; a charming, moral family drama that deals with psychological issues. Whereas The Emoji Movie is at times staggeringly dark, blending family fun themes with unsettling totalitarianism, reinforcing the need to restrict your emotions more than the need to show them. The different worlds within the phone, ranging from YouTube to Candy Crush, may keep kids amused, but they are some of the most terrifying, nightmarish incarnations in recent memory.
The animation lacks any style or flourish, feeling like the standard of generic Poop that your less prolific kids channels squeeze out every day. The writing too is absurd, desperately clinging on to the hope that we as an audience will laugh at every poo pun under the sun – there’s a scene with the emoji literally hitting a fan. The only people getting a laugh here are the companies we see throughout the film who will have made a killing off the relentless product placement forced upon us.
Whilst the idea behind the film isn’t the worst, its execution encapsulates all that is wrong with Hollywood, who have grossly underestimated their audience’s intelligence. The story itself lacks any coherence, for example we see real humans in the YouTube world yet the “real world” is animated, a phone wipe is entirely undone by unplugging it, and it has a trash section, similar to a computer, where deleted apps and emails go – not a thing. This total disregard to a logical plot will make you scoff and clench your fists, alongside the rest of the atrocities committed across the board.
The only emoji I want to use is Rage. This is more than a flop – it is an unmitigated cinematic disaster that deserves to be mercilessly beaten in a brutal, bloody fashion.
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Author: Cameron Frew