The Emoji Movie (2017) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

Director: Tony Leondis
Writers: Tony Leondis (screenplay), Eric Siegel (screenplay)
Stars: T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris

I normally avoid other reviews when I go to see either a family orientated film or a flat out kids movie. In the case of “The Emoji Movie” I did just that. The reason for this is that having adults reviewing their experience in a movie aimed at a specific age range can sometimes appear a little biased or misinterpreted. Having taken my 4 year old daughter and my 8 year old nephew I felt coming out of the theatre that “The Emoji Movie” was specifically for this age range unfortunately.

Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji……yes that is it as far as plot goes. Based on the world of a mobile phone and their apps it was fairly obvious that this movie would be filled with product placement and in this day in age it is something that just has to be accepted as part of the “business”

Gene (voiced by T.J. Miller) is accompanied by an unlikely friend in Hi-5 (voiced by James Corden) and rebellious emoji Jailbreak (voiced by Anna Faris) on a journey through various apps in search of becoming a “Meh” faced emoji to fit into his world and also be accepted by his “Meh” parents. Sound Terrible so far?

Well to be honest the problem with this movie is a 4 year old or 8 year old you can accept that the movie looks great and the characters are part of popular culture and easy identified for the rest of us the story is undeveloped and doesn’t have any sub plots or any sense. The question I kept asking myself was “why do they have to go through life threatening apps (Sing Loud etc) to get to their destination?” followed with “Why don’t they just walk around the apps?”

Well the simple answer to that is there isn’t a story there if they do that, but that only highlights the shallowness of the plot in the first place. “The Emoji Movie” i feel is “cashing” on said “Pop Culture” but in all honesty could have served up so much more that would have taken the focus off the negatives of lack of substance and product placement.

James Corden, who I never had much time for as an entertainer actually is the best thing in the movie as he attempts to bring life to his character and you can sense is doing his best to add something to the movie. T.J. Miller and Anna Faris on the other hand actually succeed in becoming the new Mr and Mrs “Meh as it appears they are just going through the motions.

In the last year or so I have sat through “Trolls” and “Secret Life of Pets” and actually thought they were entertaining and have some memorable scenes with a nice soundtrack. “The Emoji Movie” off the top of my head had two songs and that’s your whack. I was even disappointed that they didn’t use “Don’t Bring Me Down by E.L.O.” Which they used to promote the movie in the first place.

In summary and as far as a family summer movie “The Emoji Movie” falls at the first hurdle if you are seeking an all round good film. For the kids, they will enjoy it for it being the in thing just now but will easily forget about it in a years time. Disappointingly Average.

 

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