The Emoji Movie is cute, with an imaginative premise. … That’s all there is to it.
The Emoji Movie Synopsis
Within teenager Alex’s smart phone is a cosmos consisting of mini worlds based on phone apps. One of these is Textopolis, a digital city entirely populated by emojis. One day, the peaceful albeit regulated lives of the emojis are thrown into disarray. Instead of projecting the expression he represents, MEH emoji Gene panics and delivers a confusing one. For that offence, Smiler, the leader emoji, decides Gene needs to be deleted.
I’m not sure whether the team behind The Emoji Movie would feel this way a few years down the road. My bet is that they would. Without a doubt, this movie is a textbook example of a potent concept poorly, even disastrously executed. While somewhat cliché nowadays, the idea of different realms within one smart phone still provides for so many storytelling possibilities. At the same time, the plot of one individualistic emoji screwing up at work, thus risking phone-wide catastrophe, is also the perfect starting point for an outrageous, roller coaster like adventure. All sorts of themes could then be surreptitiously discussed using characters introduced during this adventure.
Alas, everything is instead dragged down by truly lifeless dialogue and plotting. Jokes are unfunny and characters are forgettable. Even the various app-worlds are nothing to get excited about. None remotely has that “wow” factor. In so many ways, The Emoji Movie ends up being the very “meh” protagonist Gene is in search of throughout. I was certainly making that face a lot during these 86 minutes of meaningless banter. At various points, I even wondered whether the producers meant for this outcome, as some sort of tasteless, very “meh” joke.
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