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Saturday
Jul292017

The EMOJI Movie Express Yourself Movie Review

15 mins into the film I felt a small piece of my soul dying.  Half-way thru my heart shrunk by 3 sizes.  

Sigh…

Let’s begin

 

THE SETUP

 

The “Meh” emoji has a malfunction on his first day on the job so he tries to find to way to get fixed so he won’t stand out and also won’t get deleted(killed).  Meanwhile in the real world the kid that owns the phone is looking to delete everything on his phone because he got embarrassed in front of a girl he couldn’t talk too. 

 

Let’s start with a the pro’s since the con’s will last awhile.  

 

PRO: 

 

It was bright and colorful.  Then again any 3D animated film costing over 40 million not named “Strange Magic” is going to be colorful.  

 

See it in 3D.  I didn’t see this in 3D but the way it was animated I think this would play better in 3D.  An example is the “INSTAGRAM” city was well thought out.  There are also other times when certain creatures where flying around. 

 

The Villain Smiler.  Her smile is nightmare fuel and I understood her motivation.  I was actually rooting for her until about near the halfway point of the film when “deleting”(killing) him became pointless since they were all in danger.

 

That’s basically it for the good now the bad.

 

CON:

 

THE ACTING 

 

While not bad most of the performances weren’t really memorable.  Also some of the actors seemed to just be playing themselves(James Corbin, Christina Aguilera).  They didn’t add anything to there roles.  I know the point of having star voices is to lure in the audience but in most cases I don’t think they really work.  Also the actors in this film don’t do much(Patrick Stewart) and in others you don’t know who it is(Christina Aguilera).  On a side note during the credits I saw Tara Strong and Phil Lamar.  This film would’ve been a great chance to use actually trained professional voice actors.  They would be able to add more to the roles than what’s on the page.

 

CHARACTERS

 

The human character’s weren’t real characters.  They were only a plot point.  They didn’t have any personality.  This reminded me of Inside/Out in that way.  Except with Inside/Out more time was spent with the human characters so you could understand them a bit more.  As far as the emoji’s?  “Meh” what you see is what you get.  Pretty one note.

 

THE ANIMATION  

Character design wise it wasn’t good.  Since most of the characters are based on emoji’s there’s not much you can really add to their design to make them look interesting.  The humans didn’t look interesting.  They just look like the standard cartooning CGI character model almost EVERY animation studio uses(even yes PIXAR). However some effort was done with some of the action scenes.  They worked in 2D and I imagine they would work better in 3D.  The problem is this was few and far between.

 

THE STORY, WRITING, PRODUCT PLACEMENT & SUCH & SUCH!

The story felt generic and at times was beat for beat both “Wreck it Ralph” and “Inside/Out”.  The resolution also doesn’t make sense.  I don’t think phones work like that.  The product placement wasn’t as clever as I believe the film-makers thought it was.  Incorporating it in the film makes sense considering this all takes place in a phone but  I think more could’ve been done with it.  If your going to copy wreck it ralph then why not do what they did and satirize them(like with what ralph did with “Call of Duty, Donky Kong and Mario Kart).  My guess is because the budget of the film was covered by said product placement. 

 

I’m sure the idea for this film was to start a franchise but it doesn’t have anywhere to go by the end of the film.  What are they going to do have a new app installed that goes bonkers and wants to take over everything?  Are they going to go to another phone, tablet, computer or mp3 player next?

 

The writing wasn’t good as well none of the jokes were funny.  The only time I laughed was during one second of the Hotel Transylvania short that aired BEFORE the film.  After the first 15-20 mins of the film I don’t think any of the kids in the theater laughed and before that they didn’t laugh they just giggled occasionally.  The jokes didn’t work the film also used a ton of puns which all fell flat.  There were a few times in the film where they tried to be a little profound but since the story and characters are blah it just didn’t ring true.

 

I can’t recommend this film.  It’s not good or so bad it’s good. It’s really middle of the road, nondescript.  It just seemed to be a cynical attempt to make a 3D animated franchise with little effort.  Going in I had a bad feeling about this film.  So why did I go see it?  Because I wanted to know what on earth was SONY thinking?  What possessed them to okay this.  I’m sure people will say that “It could’ve been good, just look at the LEGO MOVIE”.  

 

No.  Lego has been part of out cultural landscape for DECADES.  It’s had toy sets, video games, books, podcasts, tv series as well as made of tv and straight to video movies.  LEGO has strong nostalgia with it that emoji’s just has never had.  The main reason for me seeing this film was to see what about it that SONY felt work more than POPEYE, or the 2D Medusa film they cancelled(yeah I know sites like wiki say it’s still happening but the release dates have been removed for months now) and other films they pushed to a later date…allegedly.  Sony gambled on this film and after a crap trailer they stopped their promotion of the film for months(only showing a few clips on it’s website)the first full trailer was only released about a month ago.  SONY also placed a review embargo that only let up hours before the film’s wide release.  So they seemed to know they had a bad film.

 

You know what though? It doesn’t matter.

 

Box office estimates have it making 10 million on Friday.  At this rate it could make between 30 - 40 million domestically and when you count in abroad this will be a financial hit.  Which is sad because they will be rewarded for a bad product.   Hopefully with the sequel(because of course there will be one) they will ACTUALLY TRY.

 

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