“The Emoji Movie” is poorly written and poorly directed by Anthony Leonidis and sadly stars T.J. Miller, Anna Faris, James Corden, Maya Rudolph, and Patrick Stewart. This “movie” is about the lead character of Gene, a “meh” emoji that expresses multiple emotions in a world where you are only supposed to express a single one, which leads Gene on a journey to try and fix a disorder that he cannot control.
As soon as Sony released the information that they claimed the rights for an emoji movie, I was brutally unexcited to see the finished product. This lack of excitement grew larger and larger with every brutally awful advertisement leading up to the movie itself, but who knows, maybe this will be the “Citizen Kane” of our generation or something.
Nothing. Not one damn thing.
Why. Why is “The Emoji Movie”, a movie has been a laughing stock of a premise from the beginning a thing that exists. Nothing about this film ever matters, there are never really any stakes, and that is because this is one of the most unnecessary films ever made. This is just the tip of the iceberg of awful that is this movie, but it may be the biggest issue, as it is just baffling that a monstrosity like this ever even came into existence.
There are no redeemable performances to be found, as every actor should be ashamed to be a part of this movie. I get that some people need to pay the bills, but T.J. Miller, I respect you way too much to see you slug through this crap. Miller is as meh as his emoji, and Anna Faris isn’t totally awful, but don’t worry, James Corden picks up that slack. Corden as the high five emoji gives one of the most annoying performances in recent memory, as none of the same charm he has on his late night show transfers to his role here. Corden is a funny guy, but he does not land a single joke in this film, and man does he attempt a lot of them, and it becomes excruciating to watch his efforts fail harder and harder as the film goes on. I won’t even begin to talk about the travesty that is Patrick Stewart as literal shit (a Poop emoji) because it will truly break my heart to write, but Corden is not alone in the crap fest, as Maya Rudolph really overcooks her performances as the main villain, Smiley. Rudolph brings no real villainy to the character at all and is pretty much there to annoy the audience without ever bringing anything clever to the role whatsoever.
It’s hard to blame all of the brutal lack of comedy on the performances, as I’m not sure anyone could deliver any of the tragically bad writing that is found in this film. Anthony Leonidis is at fault here, for as much as I love a good pun, the comedic efforts in this film are so reliant on these B-level puns it is insulting. Jokes ranging from a poop pun from a poop emoji to a high five pun from a high five emoji, to maybe a stop pun from a stop emoji truly get stale as soon as they begin, and not a single one of them made me laugh from start to finish. There are also jokes that aim for a slightly more mature audience with their themes, but they are so poorly forced in that they never work, either, but it is the parent meh emojis that really slow this film to a complete standstill. Being dreadfully emotionless isn’t good for a single punchline, so the fact that Leonidis decided these two soul-sucking characters needed their own side plot that nobody cares about is completely ridiculous and makes this movie, that is under 90 minutes, truly feel like a war epic in length.
I expected some of it to happen, but oh my goodness the product placement in this movie is simply wrong. Did we need an in-depth analysis of the game, Candy Crush? Did we NEED a ridiculously long sequence of the game, Just Dance???? DID WE NEEEEEEEED to go through Instagram photos that have nothing to truly do with the story??????? DID. WE. NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED. to watch our main characters surf through Spotify songs??????? HOLY MOTHER OF GOD DID WE NEED TO HAVE THE PLOT DEPEND ON WHETHER OR NOT THEY CAN GET TO THE DROPBOX APP????????? No, no we didn’t, but since they are about to have a massive bomb on their hands in the box office receipts, I guess this movie needed to make its money back somewhere, but it is truly diabolical what the filmmakers are doing with the advertising here.
It’s not bad enough that “The Emoji Movie”, a film that appears to be its own original concept, is complete garbage, no, it also has to blatantly rip off a few of the best-animated films to come out in recent memory. Anthony Leonidis makes it brutally clear to everyone from the opening minutes that this movie will take a journey almost identical to the ones from both “Inside Out” and “Wreck it Ralph,” with the lead characters of Gene and Jailbreak being pretty much IDENTICAL rip-offs of Ralph and Venellope. Bad movies hurt, but “The Emoji Movie” is its own animal of garbage, as it also brings down some recent Disney classics with it.
Another inexcusable flaw “The Emoji Movie” has is with its visual effects, as it even looks as if it were cheaply made. The emojis do not pop off the screen as well as they should, and many of the wider shots look poorly rendered, especially if there is a lot going on within the screen. It’s not terrible on the visuals, but it is something that should have truly been easy to make look great, and it looks average at best.
Of course, the ending is awful, but it is a special kind of awful, an awful that the movie had not faced to this point. Sure, this is a painstakingly bad movie from start to finish, but even all of the first two acts could not have lead to the hysterically garbage resolution that this film ends on. To be fair, it was the first time all movie that I was laughing, but the comedy was not intentional, and the end should truly be enshrined as the worst conclusion to an animated film ever.
I could go all day with this turd, but I will save you from anymore, because, quite frankly, it is just not worth it. “The Emoji Movie” is one of the worst movies this year, and one of the worst animated movies ever made. The comedy is cheap and completely ineffective, James Corden is nails on a chalkboard, the storyline is lazy and has been done better by better studios, and the product placement is so astronomically obvious that they mine as well look into the camera and say “buy these apps.” The romance is totally forced, there is a complete and total lack of world building that made films like “Inside Out” and “The LEGO Movie” so great, the plot makes little to no sense, the villain is barely even a bad guy, and once again, James Corden gave me more pain than any broken bone or concussion I have had in my life. Do not see this movie, do not support this movie as a joke, as “The Emoji Movie” is a huge pile of poop emoji.
Don’t see “The Emoji Movie”