Review: The Emoji Movie


By: Benjamin Allen Dickson | Photo from

What can be said about “The Emoji Movie” that hasn’t been said already? It’s hard to say, but we should be glad that this film is getting the crushing and horrendous reviews that it deserves. Unfortunately it’s still a blockbuster despite this.  Yes, I know that you know this movie is bad. You don’t need to be a genius to realize this, because more than likely the title gave that away in the beginning. But I promise that I will open your eyes to the sinister underbelly that is “The Emoji Movie”, and more importantly. Sony Pictures/Animation.

I know what you are thinking, “This is just a kid’s film, they don’t have to be good.”, and all I have to say is looking at the work that Disney, Pixar and even Dreamworks have released, they have all proved that kids films and emotionally driven, creative, exceptional works of art are not mutually exclusive. There is no excuse for a movie this atrocious to be made in 2017.

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way first, because yes, surprisingly there are good things to say about this movie. First off, the film isn’t completely broken and at least it follows some kind of structure, even if that same structure has been beaten to death a million times. The animation of this film looks… acceptable. It’s nowhere near a beautiful film, but it’s animation alone isn’t repulsive, it’s the film as a whole that is. That’s honestly the only part of this film that doesn’t make me want to set myself on fire. Sony Animation, when promoting the film, said that it is the fastest animated film ever produced, which is not something to celebrate. In fact, we should be frightened. The fact that this was made so fast proves that Sony Animation has no problem with churning out a product as fast as they can to exploit whatever trend becomes popular.

“The Emoji Movie” not even a movie, and that is important to keep in mind. We’ve seen lazy films made for a quick buck in the past, but this is far worse. Even movies like Adam Sandler’s 2011 dumpster fire that was “Jack and Jill”, which had an obscene amount of product placement in it, were nowhere near as obnoxious as this. That’s right, a movie where the main goal of the protagonist is to film a Dunkin Donuts commercial with Al Pacino dancing around singing “Dunkacino” didn’t even come close to how disgusting, abhorrent, and revolting as “The Emoji Movie”. The film itself revolves around a plot thinner than the paint thinner I wanted to drink after I saw this. Gene, voiced by TJ Miller, is not living up to expectations when he doesn’t want to act the way he is required to act as a “Meh” emoji, he goes on a wild adventure and realizes that it’s okay to be unique and different and everything you’ve already seen in better films. But the generic plot isn’t what makes me feel so cynical about this movie, it’s the fact that this whole film is just a commercial. They make constant references to various apps and social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, and even Dropbox. Even Dropbox, in a bloody kid’s film. Was this some sick and twisted way to make Dropbox appeal to children and spike app sales? I can imagine now how brutally disappointed a child would be when they discover that Dropbox isn’t some kind of game or social network. The entire plot of the film is just to get audience members to buy various apps as well. Gene and his cohorts are trying to get across the phone through various apps to get to Dropbox, they play a game of Candy Crush and Just Dance and practically look right at the audience members chanting a satanic ritual telling you to purchase these apps. It’s so insanely obvious even after watching just five minutes of this “movie” that this is simply a product of a boardroom meeting with Sony Executives trying to find new ways to slip their slimy fingers into as many wallets as they can. I like to think that Sony Executives were afraid that even the general public would see through their facade and figure out that this is just an advertisement, so much so that they even had to slap the word movie in the title. That way they’ll say, “How can ‘The Emoji Movie’ not be a movie if it has the word ‘Movie’ right there plain as day?!”

Strip away the Emojis, and this is the same film you’ve seen dozens of times, but much worse. Take “The Lego Movie”, “Wreck It Ralph”, and “Inside Out” (All three this movie attempts to copy, and each are a much better use of your time than this film) and imagine if they made a hybrid movie baby, and throw in cringe inducing “gags” and references to apps, social networks and dead memes. Take the monstrous Franken-baby, and try to shove a heavy handed love story in there about how it’s okay to be different. Take that toxic pile of hazardous materials and coat it in gasoline. Finally, set it on fire. That is the best way to describe this film.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say this is the worst film that was ever made. It is semi-coherent and is mostly structured. It is not a broken movie like some extremely low budget films I’ve seen. The problem is how much money was put into this, and that this was the product. The problem lies in the blatant apathy that Sony has towards quality filmmaking. I understand that Hollywood puts making money first, it is a business so of course it does, but this is a new low. It’s even worse that they think they can get away with this, and they are. It’s brilliant and pathetic at the same time.

I can’t believe I payed money for this, I didn’t think my ten dollars would make a difference, but obviously I was so very wrong. Do yourself a favor, do everyone a favor and for the love of all that is holy don’t support this film. Go see some creative and outstanding movies that are worth your ten dollars. Go see “Baby Driver”, “Spiderman: Homecoming” (Which surprisingly came from Sony, which baffles me each day), “It Comes at Night”. “Dunkirk” or “A Ghost Story”. We need to support films that have a vision, not an agenda. If we don’t, we are sure to expect a Fidget Spinner movie coming soon.

This “Film” gets a: 1/10