Review: The Emoji Movie

This movie is synonymous with mental self-harm.

A child has a malfunctioning phone that randomly starts up apps in the middle of his high school classes and sends weird emojis to people he likes, yet he decides not to repair it. The End.

Language has had centuries of evolution. The written word is the oldest and most reliable system of communication the people on this planet have ever known, since cave drawings from over 40,000 years ago, to the complex Egyptian hieroglyphics dating back to the fourth century. Language has evolved to become fully expressive and malleable, to tell stories and express emotions, to answer questions and explain the world we live in.
The Egyptians wrote about deities, incredible beings so powerful they pulled the sun around the world, they created other worlds to explain life’s mysteries. Roman and Norse mythologies gave life and purpose to the seas, the storms, the air and dreams. Whether true or not, whether debunked by science or not, they are creative and inspiring, complex and meaningful, fully of characters with trials and tribulations.
The Emoji Movie doesn’t just explain that emojis are the new language, it outright says without a shred of self-awareness: “Who likes words anyway?”
The means in which this film’s script was written. Perhaps this script was written in emojis… that is possible.

These are the thoughts I was having when Alex, the most boring child, was at school and joining his peers in not listening to their teacher and instead using their phones to send each other pictures made by underachieving graphic designers working for Microsoft and Apple.

The sheerness of stupidity in this film is fascinatingly deep and depressingly real; layered like an onion, keeping up with the film’s escalating depravity is a skill in itself. From an opening that promotes ideals such as “a child’s life is centered around their phone” and “mobile apps are profound”. Profound.
But it gets worse. Akin to Wreck-It Ralph, the film focuses everything on “the secret world inside your phone”, where emojis are living entities that appear when you call them. They have their own personality that defines who they are. Except Gene. Who can’t seem to get the emotion of “meh” right and as a result is going to be deleted.
The threat in this movie is that Gene will be deleted because he isn’t acting as an emoji should, you know, the emotion they are designed to portray. So, what’s the issue here? Delete him already. The character’s are so badly elaborated upon that you simply feel nothing for them.

Oh, another poop joke. Script saved.

The film’s definition of a “high-stakes action sequence” is to put the characters in Candy Crush™ (Candy Crush Saga is a free-to-play match-three puzzle video game released by King on April 12, 2012, for Facebook; other versions for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows 10 followed. It is a variation on their browser game Candy Crush) and its ideas of story progression and character development are to put the unfunny heroes through different apps on Alex’s phone so they can reach Dropbox™ (Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by American company Dropbox, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, California, that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. Dropbox was founded in 2007, by MIT students Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, as a startup company, with initial funding from seed accelerator Y Combinator), such as Just Dance™ (Just Dance Now is a video game in the Just Dance series developed by Ubisoft. It was released on September 25, 2014, available in both the App Store and Google Play) and even Spotify™ (Spotify is a music, podcast, and video streaming service that was officially launched on 7 October 2008. It is developed by startup Spotify AB in Stockholm, Sweden) and even Youtube™ (YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The service was created by three former PayPal employees — Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim — in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries.)
The amount of corporate pandering in this is mesmerisingly bad. Want a moment of #feels? Have the characters go into Instagram™ of course (Instagram is a mobile, desktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 as a free mobile app exclusively for the iOS operating system).

We’ve not even gotten to the truly evil theme of The Emoji Movie. With all its bland animations and creativity that simply uses existing corporate constructs, the ear-spitting James Corden as Hi-Five utters the words: “Who needs friends when you can have fans! Fans will always stick by you, so long as you are on the top!”
This is said genuinely. The screenplay doesn’t correct or prove Hi-Five wrong in this belief. Gene is the audience surrogate and Hi-Five is the one who knows how the system works. This is the film’s idea of ethics.
Children today have real anxiety issues and early signs of depression due to social media and the need to have “likes” and “fans”. Chemical imbalances are being created by this artificial social environment, yet The Emoji Movie rocks up and claims this is all good!

Sony Pictures, something is desperately wrong with you.

As adults, we can just shrug this sort of nonsense off; we “know better” (as we ignore the film and look into our phones instead, ironically) but children are susceptible to these messages. As adults we should see this for what it is: a pandering, creatively-vapid, corporate-fueled nightmare intent on ruining and destroying the concepts of language, human interaction and art.

The Emoji Movie has made waves as one of the most hated films to have a major release by a major studio, which is a good sign for humanity, but the fact remains that it hasn’t “bombed” at the box office. It made its money back. This sort of thing can and probably will happen again. The future of communication is poop jokes.

This is a condensation of everything horribly wrong with modern society.


Additional Marshmallows: Do kids today really just… hang out in phone stores?

Additional, additional Marshmallows: The creators of this dumpster fire can’t even do this dumpster fire correctly; the Eggplant emoji isn’t popular? Are you, writers who’s sense of humour peaks at poop jokes, kidding me??

Additional, additional, additional Marshmallows: They actually ride on the Twitter™ bird logo (Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with messages, “tweets”, restricted to 140 characters. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, United States, and has more than 25 offices around the world.)

All corporate information was shamelessly ripped from Wikipedia.


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