You’ll have no doubt heard the rumblings about The Emoji Movie. The fact it was on 0% on Rotten Tomatoes (it’s since risen slightly). Here’s my two-cents.
What did you all expect a movie about emoticons in phones, made by Sony Animation, home of such previous delights as The Smurfs, to actually be like?
Did you really think it was going to be on a par with something from Disney say, or Pixar?
The truth is, The Emoji Movie isn’t very good, not by a long shot. The opening scene in which T.J. Miller’s (Deadpool) character “Meh” explains things are the best part and fill you with some hope.
But it doesn’t last long. The problems with The Emoji Movie are long and tedious, much like the film. But let’s start with: we’ve seen it all before.
Writer/Director Tony Leondis (Big Hero 6, Igor), writer Eric Siegel (Men At Work (TV)) and writer Mike White (Nacho Libre, School of Rock) must have spent a couple of minutes watching Inside Out and Wreck-It Ralph and thought “that’ll do, let’s mush those together for a new film”.
What they’ve failed to do, quite spectacularly, is capture any of the emotion or heart from either of those movies, or comedy, or pacing, or, well, anything. Just the basic storylines.
The Meh Emoji finds that he can’t control his emotions and just be ‘meh’ all the time. So, when he’s threatened with deletion he, along with Hi-5, James Corden (Trolls, The Lady in the Van), set out to find a hacker known as Jailbreak, Anna Faris (The Dictator, 22 Jump Street), to put him right.
Owner of the phone Alex, Jake T. Austin (Rio, Hotel for Dogs), is trying to pluck up the courage to ask a girl to the prom. This vaguely links with what’s happening to the Emoji’s inside the phone, but not really.
The characters are flat and lifeless (excuse the pun) and the laughs dry up as quickly as the saccharine characters start to grate.
Emoji’s actually come from Japan, not that you’d have any clue from watching the film. Not that you’d care when you’ve finished.
There are countless no-shame product shout-outs throughout which makes you wonder who had the idea for the film in the first place. Someone from Sony, or a marketing person from Instagram, Spotify, Dropbox or the others who get name-dropped.
If you are dragged to the movie by your children, watch the start – a short from the Hotel Transylvania folks – and the first couple of minutes, then close your eyes and drift-off somewhere.
But not to where that weird guy went who apparently began jerking-off during the movie. That’s just weird, don’t go there.