- 28 Jul 17
Not that any of us are that surprised.
Who would have thought that a film centered entirely around the digital practice of using little animations to convey certain emotions wouldn't be well received? Well, pretty much everyone except for the people over at Sony Pictures animation.
The reviews for the cartoon feature have been...unkind to say that least. In the headline for David Ehrlich's take over at IndieWire it reads :"The Emoji Movie’ Is Almost as Bad and Brutally Depressing as Everything Else in 2017".Ouch.
Ehrlich is so fed-up with the current political climate that he can't even muster the courage to call the film a bad form of escapism: "Indeed, the most distressing aspect about “The Emoji Movie” is that a spectacle this self-evidently soulless no longer feels like a new low. It doesn’t even leave a dent"
While Emoji's themselves are public domain, a common complaint is that the 'piece of art ' is nothing more than a cynical cash-grab designed to get children to buy smartphones and the use the apps that populate them.
Emily Yoshida over at Vulture was particularly disheartened at the young audience's ability to relate to whats basically a corporate icon:
"At my screening, which was for both press and a handful of unfortunate families, at the first sighting of her favorite rainbow-colored icon, a little girl behind me cried out, adoringly, “It’s Instagram!” A new age of heroes is born."
Charles Bramesco of The Guardian called it a 'Force of insidious evil' and the opening words of his write-up read like a serious disclaimer for a product that kids should avoid:
"Children should not be allowed to watch The Emoji Movie. Their impressionable brains simply aren’t set up to sift through the thick haze of corporate subterfuge clouding every scene of this sponsored-content post masquerading as a feature film "
Alissa Wilkinson at Vox commented on the film's bizarre and atonal musical choices:
"It’s amazing — or maybe it isn’t — that ..the filmmakers saw fit to have a character sing, “Nobody knows the touch screens I’ve seen / Nobody knows the screenshots,” while sitting atop a pile of trash, to the tune of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” a spiritual written by slaves to bolster their spirits while toiling in the pre-Emancipation American South"
There is of course reference to Patrick Stewart's voicing of a poop emoji, but as the AV Club reviewer points out:
"Yes, there’s a poop emoji voiced by Sir Patrick Stewart, in a part whose total dialogue must surely run well under two minutes. Anyone can be bought for the right price, but not for too long."
There appears to be 'subplot' of sorts concerning real life boy whose trying to find the right emoji to send a girl after the 'meh' emoji goes awol in the Emoji world .Alonso Duralde of The Wrap was particularly incensed by it's outcome:
"We’re also supposed to be rooting for Alex to win the affections of classmate Addie (Tati Gabrielle, “The 100”), but of course his courtship all boils down to picking the right emoji to text her. Sorry Cyrano de Bergerac and Abelard and Heloise and Cole Porter and anyone else who’s ever used dumb old words to declare love; you’re nothing without a poop symbol"
At the time of writing, the film has 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and and measly score of 09/100 on Metacritic. So we can only assume that it will go one to make at least 300 million dollars in the worldwide box office because as we know, the world is a just place.