Just so you know, an animated Popeye movie got cancelled because of this thing. There was even a BIDDING WAR between studios over this thing, which of course Sony won, cause there are no words for how desperate they must be to make this “movie”. At least there was a Hotel Transylvania short attached to this, cause why not. I’ve never seen the Hotel Transylvania movies, but this short got me sorta interested in them I guess. And don’t worry, I was prepared for a pallet cleanser after seeing this thing by seeing Baby Driver afterwards. And yeah, I know there are things based on products like toys and whatnot, but the fact that there’s a movie based on something like fucking emojis is still baffling, because at least with stuff like Transformers, Legos, and video games, there’s story possibilities, creativity, characters to relate to, and just an good overall experience. How the FUCK can that be achieved by making a movie based on something as disposable and unrelatable as FUCKING EMOJIS?
No, your eyes don’t deceive you, that is a -1/5 score I’ve given this movie, because I didn’t think I’d find a worse movie than Transformers 5 this year. And yet, despite this, I can’t help but admire it on some level that it exists and that some people actually made it and thought it’d be a good idea. I do not know how the Hell The Emoji Movie ever got made unless this was actually a money-laundering scheme to cover losses, cause since this is a Sony movie, and they’ve certainly made a fine track record of shit over the years, especially having this movie come out a week before their other turd, The Dark Tower movie (yes I know they produced Baby Driver, which is a good movie, but I’ll get to that later). It’s BAD, is what I’m trying to say, so much so that I consider it an “anti-movie”, something that was a bad idea from the get-go, had no chance of being good, got a full theatrical release, is as much of an insult to every audience out there that sees it, and yet the people that helped make it knew that and did it anyway. Sure, that describes a lot of bad movies, but this one is “special”. Why? Because it doesn’t have a unique bone in its entire body, rips off a lot of other popular animated films over the past several years and knows it, wastes the talent of a lot of talented actors, has no idea how to appeal to whatever its target audience is and would probably be insulting to whoever that’d be, and it somehow exists. But what else can be expected from a movie about fucking emojis? It was already doomed from the get-go.
I feel like if I try to recite the plot of this “movie”, I’m not quite sure if it’s the stupidest thing ever said, the craziest, or both. This is the kind of plot that’d be scribbled on the walls of Sam Neill’s padded cell in the movie In the Mouth of Madness, with the extra bonus of him getting out and watching it unfold on a theater screen while he laughs and cries. Anyway, in this “movie”, a “meh” emoji named Gene (voiced by TJ Miller) is an outcast of sorts, because he can emit more than one emotion. He lives with his parents ( voiced by Steven Wright and Jennifer Coolidge; and no, it’s never revealed how they procreate, and I don’t think anyone would like to know), who are cautious about him going out and being an emoji to be used on this kid Alex’s smartphone. When Gene is actually picked to be an emoji used to be sent to a girl the kid likes, he panics and becomes some weird emoji thing, which causes panic for everyone living in…[sigh] Textopolis, so the…[groan] smiley emoji (voiced by Maya Rudolph) orders for him to be killed, and so Gene must go on a quest to become “more meh”, teams up with a “high-five emoji” named Hi5 (voiced by James Corden) and a “hacker emoji” named Jailbreak (voiced by Anna Faris; and really, Sony, you had to rip off Wildstyle from The Lego Movie for this character? Actually, I’m not that surprised), and shenanigans ensue. Oh, and the “poo emoji” is in this movie too, voiced by Patrick Stewart, because of course he is for some reason and doesn’t factor into the plot at all (goddammit Mr. Stewart you went out on a high note with Professor X in Logan this year, why the FUCK did you do this piece of, well, “poo emoji”?), but the movie makes sure to have plenty of obvious shit jokes with him. Oh and there’s some generic high school sub plot about Alex crushing on a girl and feels he can only communicate to her through emojis, instead of, oh idk, texting with words, calling her, writing her a note, or just flat out talk to her and ask her out, and not just be a fucking moron and waste of time? Seriously this “sub plot” is only visited not very often and doesn’t add anything at all to the “movie”. There’s also some stuff going on about Gene’s parents and their marriage while they try to find their son, in which it’s revealed that Gene can express multiple emotions because his dad can. After Jailbreak rejects Gene because she “doesn’t want to be tied down” or whatever (apparently this movie tries to hammer in some kind of superficial feminist message here), he becomes “meh”, and then before all the stuff on Alex’s phone is deleted, Gene breaks out of his “mehness” because Jailbreak decides to admit her feelings to him, and become a “multi-emoji” thing, which saves the day and gets Alex the girl, and then the movie ends on a contrived dance sequence cause why not. If all that sounds WAY too familiar to you, that’s because, like I said, it rips off a bunch of popular animated movies released over the past several years, such as Shrek, Wreck-It Ralph, Inside Out, and The Lego Movie, and who knows what else.
The moment that the line “emojis are the most important form of communication” is uttered, I knew this was gonna be a major shitfest. Following that, and even before that, it’s an immediate nosedive. The animation is bland and unoriginal, ripping off those other animated movies I mentioned, from color pallet to character design to whatever else. I mean, emojis are basically just friggin circles with faces on em, and in this movie they’re just rendered in 3D, with little stick arms on them. In this movie, they’re more like demonic creatures about to eat your soul (ironic considering there’s a “devil emoji” in this thing) than animated characters with any kind of depth, and when two of them are next to each other they look like animated testicles. Probably the most disturbing of em is the smiley emoji character. I swear, every time she’s on screen, she oughta be accompanied with the Psycho theme music. However, the most annoying of them all is the “high five” emoji known as, well, Hi-5. Everything about this character, from his voice, his dumb jokes, him getting his friends in danger constantly, and the fact that he’s every annoying “comedic relief” character in an animated movie ever combined into one here, make him one of the most annoying characters of all time. Some catharsis is felt when he’s sent in “the trash” (which in NO WAY looks like the abyss in Inside Out), only to be immediately taken away when he’s rescued, and I gotta wonder why that happens since his existence is pain for anyone unfortunate to deal with him. The voice acting from the actors here is like they’re delivering their lines at gunpoint or they have to take a shit real bad, so basically the Teen Titans GO! method of voice acting is utilized here, in which even they know the material is crap but hey, gotta pay those bills somehow, right?. Sure, Steven Wright as a “meh emoji” is spot-on, but it’s in this movie, so it’s a waste of time and thought.
And what would a Sony sell-out crapsterpiece like this would be without good ol’ fashioned product placement? But see, the product placement in this thing is “special”, because they are literal plot points in the film. If you think the Krispy Kreme product placement being a plot point in Power Rangers was bad, wait til you get a load of what this thing has in store for ya. If this movie were, oh I don’t know, MORE ORIGINAL, there’d probably be a good substitute for the apps depicted here, but no, in this thing it’s all ad space for popular apps that are used by people in the real world, cause that $60 million budget had to go somewhere, right?. Candy Crush Saga is visited in which the movie dedicates at least 10 minutes or more of the characters playing a level of the friggin game, and of course the world surrounding it has to look similar to the “Sugar Rush” game in Wreck-It Ralph, only without any time spent on developing and establishing the world itself. And not long after that, they play through a level of a Just Dance game, in which Gene does the…[groan] “emoji huff” ( or is it “emoji pop”? either way it sounds like an unholy sex act), all the while they’re dancing to Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, and I’m just thinking how much George Michael would be rolling in his grave due to this and hope his friends, family, estate, and Wham! at least got paid handsomely for the use of this song in the film, cause again that $60 million budget had to go somewhere, right? Facebook and YouTube are featured, only to be poked fun at about how people use them to “get attention” and “watch cat videos” (in particular that one in which the cats paws go up), which comes off as more insulting than funny. Spotify is another pitstop for the characters to go too, utilizing the music stuff as some kind of visual metaphor for the characters rowing on a boat and having some romantic moment or whatever. Gene’s parents also go through all the apps and especially Instagram, cause if all the earlier uses of product placement weren’t enough, here’s more. And finally, the final destination these characters go to is Dropbox, so they can go to “the cloud” and become the emojis they want to be. Actually, wait, there’s one more, that being the Twitter bird is summoned by Jailbreak, who’s a princess for some reason and summons it by whistling, and I just can’t help but sympathize with those who complain about the eagles in The Lord of the Rings, because if she could do that this whole time, WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T SHE DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE TO GET TO FUCKING DROPBOX?!!!!!! Oh wait that means this piece of shit wouldn’t be an HOUR AND TWENTY-SIX MINUTES LONG.
Of course I don’t recommend this movie in any way whatsoever. It’s fucking atrocious, an abject failure. And it got released in theaters worldwide. Say what you will about other piece of shit animated movies like Foodfight and Video Brinquedo knockoffs, at least those weren’t pretentious enough to think they’d be worthy of cinemas. This “movie” is like a mentally challenged, drug addicted, lumbering, retarded abomination that shits all over itself, covers itself with ripped off pieces of posters from more popular animated movies (as if they’re pieces of human skin taken from dead bodies) that it itself rips off of, and loudly proclaims “I’m a real movie now”. And I can’t help but laugh at its ineptitude and say “of course you are, Emoji Movie“. After this thing was over, a little kid in the theater I saw this in shouted out loud “that was a good movie”, and I couldn’t help but pity that poor kid. Parents, for the love of all things decent, if you love your kids, don’t take them to see this movie unless it’s punishment. Even ISIS would find this cruel, however. Then again, Trump would probably use this thing as part of his “enhanced interrogation” methods for combating terrorists. If you do see this movie, however, to quote Ash from Alien: “I can’t lie to you about your chances, but you have my sympathies”.