THE EMOJI MOVIE:
A MOVIE THAT MAKES MESSING AROUND WITH YOUR PHONE IN A MOVIE THEATER LOOK LIKE AN AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: ½ out of 4
(From left to right) Jailbreak, Gene, and Hi-5 in The Emoji Movie
I remembered back in 2013 when The Lego Movie first premiered and wasn’t fully convinced but it turned out being one of the best animated movies in recent years. Well, The Emoji Movie was the movie I thought I was going to get at first with The Lego Movie, one of the most desperate attempts at family entertainment I’ve seen in a long time and I sat through Free Birds, The Nut Job, and the Smurfs movies.
Developed by Sony Pictures Animation, the studio behind Surf’s Up, Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, and Hotel Transylvania and directed by Tony Leondis (Igor) who was a story artist for DreamWorks Animation films like The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado, and based on those little faces you text to your friends on your phones…Yeah, sounds like a blockbuster to me.
Imagine Wreck-It Ralph, Inside Out, and The Lego Movie smushed together and minus the charm, wit, and engaging characters and became one of the most cynical and lousy attempts at making an hour and a half long smartphone commercial. That’s this movie and it is what I think so far is the worst movie Sony Pictures Animation has ever produced, and I applaud all of their Smurfs movies for not being this painfully bad.
The film follows a meh emoji named Gene (voiced by T.J. Miller-How to Train Your Dragon, Big Hero 6, Deadpool) living in the city of Textopolis (I came pretty close to vomiting after hearing that city name) inside the phone of a teenage boy named Alex (voiced by Jake T. Austin-Wizards of Waverly Place, Rio, Justice League Action) who’s trying to ask a girl to his school’s dance. On his first day of work in the text center Gene discovers he actually has multiple expressions, panics, and accidentally makes the wrong face when Alex selects him, resulting in him being labeled as a malfunction by the leader of the text center, Smiler (voiced by Maya Rudolph-Bridesmaids, The Way, Way Back, The Angry Birds Movie) and must be deleted.
Smiler sends out her emoji deleting bots after Gene as he races off to find the source code and have him reprogrammed. Along the way he meets the giant hand emoji, Hi-5 (voiced by James Corden-Gavin & Stacy, Into the Woods, The Late, Late Show with James Corden) and a tomboyish codebreaker emoji named Jailbreak (voiced by Anna Faris-Lost in Translation, Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, The Dictator) who accompany him on his quest.
They encounter bots, dance-offs in Just Dance, internet Trolls, and become diabetic in Candy Crush as they race to clear Gene’s multiple expressions and for Jailbreak to make it to the Cloud in search for a better life.
The film also features the voices of Steven Wright (The Swan Princess, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Louie) as Mel Meh, Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie, Legally Blonde, Robots) as Mary Meh, singer Christina Aguilera as the Just Dance dancer, Akiko Glitter, Sofia Vergara (Lords of Dogtown, Four Brothers, Modern Family) as Flamenca, Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men franchise, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius) as the Poop emoji (And I’m really mad about typing that!), and Sean Hayes (Will & Grace, Cats & Dogs, Monsters University) as Steven the devil emoji.
Overall, The Emoji Movie is an absolute waste of time and a disgrace to family entertainment and cinema animation. The film is nothing more than a shameful attempt at creating a commercial for a commercial for another commercial and every time an app or phone feature is mentioned I wanted to get up, walk into the men’s restroom, and weep.
I don’t even think Space Jam, The Wizard, or the dreaded Cat in the Hat movie from 2003 were as big a corporate sellout than this entire movie was. We’ve seen movies that were corporate sellouts but were still good movies before like The Lego Movie and even if you weren’t buying the products the movie was still engaging and fun no matter the age.
This on the other hand is pretty much a colorful looking prison and you’re being tortured by watching these awful jokes and following these bland cookie-cutter characters for an hour and a half while constantly being suckered into buying a smartphone. I’ve never played Just Dance or Candy Crush but after seeing this movie I don’t even want to consider playing those games, I’m sure they’re decent games but after watching those games being shamelessly shoehorned into this film is just painful.
If you’re a parent don’t take your kids to see this movie, The Emoji Movie is not worth anyone’s money. Go see something enriching instead like Despicable Me 3, Captain Underpants, or even Cars 3, Heck, take the kids to Spider-Man: Homecoming I don’t care if it’s PG-13 you’ll get a lot more family fun with that movie than anything in this.
It’s a corporate ad disguised as a family movie that should be deleted from existence and not enough emojis in the world can express my hatred for this foul piece of