Resisting the temptation to write this review entirely in emojis because firstly, I’m not an idiot, and secondly, that is probably exactly what the makers of this film would want if their aggressive (and entirely terrible) marketing strategy was anything to go by!
Emojis are everywhere, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have as yet to take the plunge and get a smartphone, then you have probably seen, used, or are at least aware of, Emojis. They can be used as a fun way to express ourselves, they can be hilariously and unintentionally used in un-PG ways (looking at you eggplant!), but the question is: do they make a good subject for an entire feature length movie?
The answer is a huge resounding no, with a healthy dose of angry and facepalm emojis thrown in for good measure. This film is not just terrible, it is absolutely toxic. A disgusting waste of celluloid and a genuine travesty to think that time, effort, and money were spent on creating this absolute stinking turd of a film. It somehow manages to be simultaneously infantile and mind-numbingly stupid (genuinely, my eyes hurt I rolled them so much), yet also absolutely impenetrable; the endless talk of clouds and code was enough to fry my brain and I would consider myself to be very internet savvy!
There is no point trying to pick apart the plot of this film because it not only doesn’t exist, but it is so horrifically empty that there really isn’t anything to unpack here. It is hard to imagine who this film is for, and really the only people who can benefit from this film are the brands that have so brazenly allowed their products to feature. ‘The Emoji Movie’ is a shameless, disgusting example of commercialism, endlessly vomiting its vapid, empty, obnoxious product placement in your face. The “Just Dance” sequence is so obviously trying to sell the app to you that there might as well be a suit-wearing executive pointing a gun at your head as you key in the digits of your credit card to part with your hard-earned cash, and possibly your soul, laughing maniacally as you tap rhythmically on your phone screen forevermore.
Not only does it beat you over the head with its product placement and cringeworthy name-dropping of everything that happens to be popular right now, but it also brainlessly attempts to hammer home some kind of message. The result is a confusing mess, flitting between “just blend in and do your job” to “be yourself, be free” at such a pace you’ll feel as if you have whiplash. It is bad enough that it slaps you with all the quasi-morality, but when it is also littered with “text speak” and spoken hashtags, it becomes even more of an abomination. If you heard an incredibly loud groan followed by the sound of a palm making contact with a face, that was me when an animated talking hand, voiced by James Corden, said “hashtag blessed”.
Speaking of which, James Corden manages to be even more annoying in animated form than he is in real life, and the high-five character is easily one of the most annoying film characters ever. The voice cast deserve better than a film like this, and it is truly amazing that any of them willingly signed up to do this. Patrick Stewart, you deserve so much more than to be a talking poop.
This film made me sigh, mutter expletives, and roll my eyes approximately every 10 seconds, and by the time the twitter logo swooped in to rescue two characters from “the cloud”, I’d lost my filter and was audibly throwing out expletives.
In case it wasn’t obvious, this film is terrible. Too terrible to ever circle back to being good, and not even so bad that is is funny. The whole film feels like a joke, but it is a joke which is never funny. It is an insult to call this a film, it isn’t a film, it is a disease. With a plot thinner than a wet paper bag, one-liners which never even take off let alone land, and an endless barrage of brands and products, this film is the lowest common denominator. The entire concept of this film hinges on the fact that sending the “wrong” emoji is the worst thing that could ever happen, and quite frankly the people who believe that, deserve a film as terrible as this one.
Even the fact this film is mercifully short (86 minutes) is not a saving grace; honestly I’d have rather shit in my hands and clapped than watched this monstrosity.
Director: Tony Leondis
Starring: T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Steven Wright, Jennifer Coolidge, Patrick Stewart