Film

The Emoji Movie: So Bad it’s Good? No. 

Jackson Gordon ’22

Science & Technology Editor

The Emoji Movie has far too esteemed a cast to be as terrible as it is. The first twenty minutes of the film introduce the audience to the inhabitants of ‘Textopolis,’ the land inside your phone where the emojis live. One of these emojis, the poop emoji, voiced by Sir Patrick Stuart, makes over a half-dozen crappy jokes in these first twenty terrible minutes. While suffering through these jokes, the audience is introduced to the main character, Gene (T.J. Miller).  

Gene is a ‘meh’ emoji, but he has a malfunction: he feels emotions other than meh. The film — if it can truly be called a film — follows the journey of Gene as he travels through the phone of high schooler Alex. Due to Gene’s malfunction, Alex’s phone acts up, embarrassing him. Gene must change and become a true meh emoji before he is deleted by bots sent after him by the lead Emoji, Smiler (Maya Rudolph).  

Gene enlists the help of Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris) to help him evade the bots and become truly meh. This movie feels like a mix of the worst parts of Inside Out and Wreck-It Ralph. Like Inside Out, the Emoji Movie tries to teach kids about emotions, but fails miserably. The Emoji Movie does not explore emotions in any valuable way, all this ‘film’ does is run jokes about emotions and poop into the ground. The emoji movie has many of the same plot point as Wreck-It Ralph. There is a character who is different from everyone else, travel between many different apps/games, and the threat of deletion. While Wreck-It Ralph travels through this plot style beautifully, the Emoji Movie butchers it. 

Luckily, the animation in this film is not as horrendous as many of its other aspects. When looking at the Emoji Movie compared to other similar animated films the actual animation is well, meh. The characters are simple and sometimes a little creepy for a children’s movie. With emoji protagonists, this is bound to happen. I don’t think anyone has ever been using an emoji and thought to themselves, “this should be a movie!”  

The only reason a creation as atrocious as the Emoji Movie would be made is product placement. Within the horrendous 86 minutes of psychological torture, there are nine brands clearly represented —  two of them are major parts of the movies plot. The seven subtly mentioned brands include Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, Dropbox, YouTube, and WeChat. (Have you ever even heard a small child talk about Twitter, Dropbox, or WeChat?) And the two brands that have a larger role are Candy Crush and Just Dance. While this doesn’t seem like too big of an issue, how would you feel if you spent your hard-earned cash to see a movie that truly should be considered torture, just to be advertised to for half of the time. 

There are many agonizing, repetitive jokes. What’s worse, there are a few jokes that are both highly inappropriate for a children’s movie and extremely to the woesome parents forced to watch this. A few examples of these jokes are when Smiler says, “There is nothing like getting scanned for the first time. You’re going to love it. Really.” As well, the poop emoji says, “Oh shhhh…” And when Gene says, “What could a teenage boy possibly want to hide from his parents.” Of course, parents will understand many of these jokes, but in the context of this movie they are unnecessary and bland. 

I think the best was to honour this movie, other than acknowledging the four Golden Raspberry Awards it won (Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screen Combo, and Worst Screenplay), would be filing a class action lawsuit to refund the 217.8 million USD to all the poor souls, including myself, who had to see this movie. This movie is very obviously a 0/10.