Release Date: July 28, 2017
Director: Tony Leondis
Writer: Tony Leondis, Eric Siegel, Mike White
Cast: T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudoph, Steven Wright, Jennifer Coolidge, Patrick Stewart, Christina Aguilera, Sofia Vergara, Rachael Ray, Sean Hayes, Jake T. Austin, Tati Gabrielle, Jude Kouyate, Jeffrey Ross, Hunter March, Tony Leondis, Melissa Sturm, Eric Siegel, Sean Giambrone, Timothy Durkin, Liam Aiken, Wendell Brooks, Thom Bishops, Kevin Chamberlin
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 86 minutes
Production Company: Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital, Sony Pictures Animation
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Budget: $50,000,000 (estimated)
It seems like yesterday when Emoji’s were born in our digital world, and they don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. They can be so fun and creative, it’s hard not to appeal to them. This new form of communication doesn’t appear to be slowing down either with latest updates popping up daily, it seems. Whether you’re staring at your phone 24 hours a day, or a phone user that just checks their text messages at random, you’ve more than likely used an Emoji. That doesn’t mean a studio should try to adapt this idea into a full-length feature film. I understand that a film studio wants to make money, and it’s wise to take advantage of what’s popular among the people, but this is taking it too far. Maybe I wouldn’t say that if this film was remotely good, but it’s not. The Emoji Movie is a tired lazy excuse to make money off a property that only lives in our phone, and illustrates how sad some writing departments in Hollywood have become.
There’s a boy in high school that likes a girl. He’s afraid to talk to her YET already has her phone number. See, this already doesn’t make any sense. On a side note, how does every student in the school already have everyone’s phone number? This is never addressed in the film. Possibly because small children wouldn’t notice, but because of this large oversight for adult audiences it’s a slap in the face to your intelligence. Anyway, he likes a girl, doesn’t know how to express himself, sends the wrong emoji, and concludes that his phone is broken. Though his phone isn’t broken, it’s the emoji, Meh (T.J. Miller) is trying to be more than he’s supposed to be. He has more than one emotion, and just wants to be himself and emote freely at will. That notion is the only positive thing about this film. Everything is just meh to be honest.
This film suffers from trying too hard and not feeling natural. I say that due to the constant pop culture references that aren’t subtle but thrown in your face. Instead of a movie, it feels like a 90-minute advertisement with all the endless annoying pop ups and scary bright colors. The film also failed at making you care. I don’t know one soul in the world who has ever been so attached to their phone that they would die if they lost emoji’s. The wonderful thing about programs is that they can be deleted, altered, or upgraded. So when the film tries to sell stakes of the main character Meh being in mortal danger, it doesn’t do anything but make you shrug your shoulders wishing it would all end. No one gives a crap! If Meh died in the film, so what! He’s a dang Emoji for crying out loud!
There’s no emotional weight to this like in Wreck it Ralph which brought back my childhood, or Inside Out that dealt with real mental issues on a small scale. This Emoji thing is a cheap imitation on what is great that came before. The Emoji movie makes you not want to use your cell phone anymore. I feel a pager and pay phone would suffice now. There’s one emoji named Smiler (Maya Rudolph) who’s one of the scariest things I’ve seen in a while. You would think her smiling would be warm, but it’s terrifying. I may be the point, but her continuous smile was an uncomfortable distraction.
Seriously, this movie turns me off from technology, and is a wake-up call to how dumb society may be getting. I didn’t laugh one time, and started to cry when I looked at my watch and that saw only 45 minutes had gone by.