Saturday, August 5, 2017

[Review] The Emoji Movie

Ah, emojis... They're a vital part of our day-to-day communication in the smart phone era and social media age. So, of course, someone had to make a big studio movie about them. But The Emoji Movie is proof that some of these novelty concepts don't need to go on the big screen. And let me be clear: this isn't even one of those films that you have to "check out just to see how bad it is." At best, it's a humdrum waste of time. A dismal and derivative pile of dookie.

T.J. Miller (ugh) voices Gene - a designated "Meh" emoji living in Textopolis who's capable of expressing other emotions. When he's ostracized by the town, he embarks on a personal journey to become a "normal", one-dimensional emoji just like everyone else. It's not the most compelling plot setup, especially for us multi-dimensional humans. It really makes no sense. Like, what exactly are the actual consequences if Gene cracks a smile or sheds a tear? Who gives a fuck? What are the other emojis going to do - give him a strange look? Oh wait, they can't.

The "jokes" are so lazy, unimaginative, and on-the-nose that they come across as complete non-jokes, begging for muster up a pity pshhh. At one point, a group of monkeys carrying suitcases say they're ready "monkey business!" It's a surface pun that even Laffy Taffy wrappers would toss into the trashcan emoji. And the script is littered with these things, and the story is just really disengaging. I began to mentally check out of this thing when Gene found himself in a game of Candy Crush, because you know--it's so much fun to watch someone else play Candy Crush.

T.J. Miller's lead vocal performance becomes grating after 10 minutes. I mean, this is the same guy who voices the Mucus in the Mucinex commercials... The film doesn't have much to offer up visually, either. Even some of the most mediocre animated films that have recently hit theaters--like Trolls or Smurfs or Angry Birds--at least have some dazzling imagery to look at. But you can't say the same about The Emoji Movie. It's just so utterly plain. You'd probably be able to see more captivating flourishes of animation on your own phone--like trash dove.

It's best if we just never speak of this movie again.

:poop emoji: / 10

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