The Emoji Movie: “Meh” is All You Got

Directed by: Tony Leondis | Produced by: Michelle Raemo Kouyate | Screenplay: Tony Leondis, Eric Siegel, Mike White | Story by: Tony Leondis, Eric Siegel | Starring: TJ Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Steven Wright, Jennifer Coolidge, Christina Aguilera, Patrick Stewart | Music by: Patrick Doyle | Edited by: William J. Carapella | Production Company: Sony Pictures Animation | Distributed by: Columbia Pictures | Official Website


When I see the trailer of The Emoji Movie for the first time, I only reminisce to 2015 Pixar’s awards winning animation, Inside Out. I almost got the same hype to watch animations since they usually have some messages to teach to their younger audiences, in the most colorful and simplest way. However, the emoji in this movie runs out their intepretation of the emotion they should represent, and lost in total nonsensical confusion.

The Emoji movie centers on two different but parallels universe. The first one, is the real one where Alex (Jake T. Austin), a shy by who wants to tell his feelings to his girl crush Addie (Tati Gabrielle), lives. The other universe sets inside Alex’s phone, where our should-be-Meh emoji called Gene (TJ Miller) lives on the city of Textopolis. Gene, who should be only showing Meh face, turns out to be able to show many kind of expressions. 

This ability gives him trouble when he shows the wrong expression on his first day working on Alex’s text application. Gene is called to Smiler (Maya Rudolph), the leader of text center who concludes he is a malfuntion and therefore Gene should be deleted. Smiler then releases the bots to chase Gene, who is now escaping Textopolis alongside Hi-5 (James Corden) to find Jailbreak (Anna Faris), to “fix” his malfunction.

The idea of emoji talking and dancing and do whatever we can do is actually brilliant, if it’s told in a proper screenplay. The Emoji Movie, however, shows more confusion than gives us the excitement of watching the emojis go on an adventure on its psychedelic world. It tries to gives us some humors, when James Corden is trying his best to bring out his charisma on his talkshows and transfer it into a sloppy hand emoji, but at the end we cannot see what to laugh at. It tries to gives some adrenaline pumps with surfing on Spotify streams or cracking the Firewalls, but it doesn’t gives us anything but the knowledge of those applications we might need on our smartphone. It tries to gives us fun with Christina Aguilera’s dancing on Just Dance application but well, mami Xtina better returns to the studio to work on her next album, I suggest.

The whole idea of The Emoji Movie turns out to be floppy and halfhearted mess. I seldomly see an animation as boring and find another excitement watching any of it, but this movie is intolerable. On one scene they tries to compare the use of Emoji with Egyptian Hieroglyphs, where I think would be foolish if one millenium ahead our descendants finds out that we using emoji as the improvement of Hieroglyphs. The best part of this movie however lies when they sit the Poop emoji (voiced by Sir Patrick Stewart), on a chair that reminds us of his role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek. The rest of this soulless and boring animation is better left in the darkness.


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