Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: The Emoji Movie

            The Emoji Movie is about as funny, as unpredictable & as original as an episode of Criminal Minds.
            Gene (Miller) is the only son of two “Meh” Emojis & it’s his turn to join the family business: as the “Meh” Emoji in a teenager’s phone.  But Gene doesn’t know if he feels right for the job.  After a terrible first shift, head emoji Smiler (Rudolph) decides he needs deleted.  On the run with fellow outcast Hi-5 (Corden), Gene soon meets Jailbreak (Faris), who says she can make him who he is meant to be.  What will that be?
            The basic outline for The Emoji Movie is ripped right out of Wreck-It Ralph.  The whole movie takes place inside the world of a generic smartphone.  The lack of cell phone company is only time Sony misses an opportunity for blatant product placement.  Early in the journey there’s a four minute “adventure” in the kid’s Candy Crush Saga app, showcasing the special levels you can actually play on your phone after the movie.  (Just a heads up, the levels are easy enough for the kid kicking your seat to beat on the first try.)  The next significant scene takes place in the Just Dance game app.  Before the movie ends, there are would-be touching scenes or should-be amusing gags involving Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter & Spotify.  The Emoji Movie using the Seltzer/Friedberg method of hoping to produce laughs: humor by association.  Director/co-writer Tony Leondis (Igor) thinks that because you recognize familiar things you’ll laugh.  Apart from from those gags, The Emoji Movie also features forced & lame Dad Jokes & puns featuring cameos from all your favorite Emojis.
            The movie gets really tiresome really quick.  Leading the charge is Smiler, who is as conniving as a dead parrot.  She has not master plan; her whole objective is to keep the Emojis as a well oiled machine.  This lack of intrigue makes the finale all the more boring.
            The Emoji Movie is cheap so-called entertainment featuring bad voiceover work, a stolen concept & exactly one laugh.  The movie does accomplish one thing: It answers the question “Is there such thing as too much James Corden?”  The answer is yes.


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