Emoji Movie – if you want a depressing, laugh-free experience for almost 90 minutes, then this is the film for you.
I was caught a little off-guard at the start as the Columbia Tristar logo came up, and was interrupted by a mobile phone with someone placing an emoji over the lady, consisting of sunglasses over her face, but everything else was more predictable than how night follows day, and how Hollywood have run out of ideas.
In fact, it’s like the ’80s cartoon strip The Numbskulls, where the emojis’ user is a kid called Alex, whereas the Numbskulls were inside the head of a middle-aged balding man.
TJ Miller plays ‘Meh’, an emoji who wants to be more than just… meh. Coincidentally, every time I see the roles played by TJ Miller, I have the same feeling. I’m sure he’s a nice chap, but he’s done nothing but played the best friend/slacker role since I first came across him in Transformers: Age of Extinction.
In this film, the smiley professes how she’s the original emoji, there are monkey emojis are up to “monkey business”, there’s a a firewall full of fire, product placement of rubbish like Candy Crush, some viral videos, a shrimp emoji is going to ‘throw himself on the barbie’ (hang on, there’s a ‘shrimp’ emoji?), and pieces of punctuation complain about their ‘colon’. Oh, this thing writes itself! …or rather, it just trots through every last obvious joke it can think of, including Patrick Stewart wasting his time, as Poop, leads a charge of “We’re Number 2! We’re Number 2!”, etc.
Steven Wright is the only decent thing in the film as his Dad, Mel Meh, but that’s because he’s Steven Wright. In fact, Wright should’ve been ‘Meh’, instead of the idiot we get.
Oh, and as the Hi-5 emoji, Christ, why do we have to have James Corden in this damn film? Who in America thinks he’s funny?!
In a fit of pique, Meh makes a completely weird face, leading to an accident in Textopolis which ends up destroying their world where everyone lines up like the opening credits of The Muppet Show. How did that happen? God knows. I don’t think the writers did, either, as there just didn’t seem to be any kind of sentient plot.
In addition, sadly, Meh spends a lot of time in Hi-5’s company, going on a voyage of discovery to find someone to hack him (with the assistance of Anna Faris‘ Jailbreak) and allow him to be a different emoji. As they go along, they’re followed by what looks like a bad version of the flying things in TRON, who were always trying to blow Flynn into next week.
Overall, I just got bored silly. I can’t even give a point for Steven Wright. It’s just complete dross, devoid of any merit.
I think it’ll be difficult to find a worse movie than this. This one is devoid of all merit and is boring. A film would have to be worth a zero AND be offensive to be a worse film.
Running time: 86 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures Corporation Ltd
Released: August 4th 2017
Director: Tony Leondis
Producer: Michelle Raimo Kouyate
Screenplay: Tony Leondis, Eric Siegel and Mike White
Music: Patrick Doyle
Gene (Meh): TJ Miller
Hi-5: James Corden
Jailbreak: Anna Faris
Smiler: Maya Rudolph
Mel Meh: Steven Wright
Mary Meh: Jennifer Coolidge
Poop: Patrick Stewart
Akiko Glitter: Christina Aguilera
Flamenca: Sofía Vergara
Spam: Rachael Ray
‘Devil’ Steven: Sean Hayes
Alex: Jake T Austin
Addie: Tati Gabrielle
Poop Jr. ‘PJ’: Jude Kouyate
Internet Troll: Jeffrey Ross
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.