Seen September 10th
When you focus a movie entirely around the emotion of “Meh”, you’re going to have a problem. This movie does exactly that and it has a problem. When the emotion “Meh” screws up, accidentally displaying a very different emotion when the main kid tries to text a girl he likes a “Meh” emoji (Remember when we all texted Meh emotions to people we liked?) it becomes determined to fix itself and get reprogrammed by a hacker so that he’ll only be able to show one emotion from now on. On his journey’s he learns that sometimes it’s more important to show more than one emotion.
So… this movie is basically the aborted fetus of Inside Out and Wreck it Ralph, without any of the creativity involved. Several sequences are literally just youtube clips, because naturally they have to run through the Youtube app at some point and bring up kitten videos. They run through the Spotify app and float on streams (Because that’s how that works) while “Cheerleader” by OMI plays. You remember that song right? Briefly popular in 2015, the year this film was first conceived. Conceived in a very similar method that Rosemary’s Baby was conceived.
In case it’s not obvious, I’m not a fan of this movie.
The story is a beat for beat carbon copy of Inside out, from a pair of very different ’emotions’ going to try and fix something that they screwed up, to running into a mysterious 3rd emotion/imaginary character, to losing one of their party in a seemingly permanent manner into a giant hole with a mountain of crap (RIP Bing Bong), to running through various strange rooms (Abstract thought/Dance Dance Revolution) that puts them through trials. It’s beat for beat, except instead of being a brilliant way of explaining how the brain and emotions work while having moments that can pull on your heartstrings and an important story about experiencing your emotions… we have Emoji’s.
It also steals a few things from Wreck It Ralph, things like “Oh it’s malfunctioning, everyone might be deleted” and “The person running everything is actually a psychopath and want’s to kill one of the main characters”, it’s blatant as hell except it’s nowhere near as interesting as it was when Wreck It Ralph did it. The smiley emoji isn’t sociopathic enough, she has one good semi-funny scene and then is relegated to the side, barely even addressed unless we need to remind the audience that she’s there and she’s evil.
Yes I’m aware that this is a film for kids, but it’s not a good film for kids. Kids deserve better movies, movies that aren’t made purely for corporate interests in order to sell them Youtube, Spotify, Dance Dance Revolution, Candy Crush and whatever app is going to give those kids the cool new Emoji Movie Apps (Which I don’t believe is out yet, but it will be and when it is I promise you it won’t be free). It’s not got anything interesting or original in it. It’s competently made certainly, the frame size is consistant, there’s maybe one line that got a laugh and the designs aren’t awful to look at but… come on Sony, you can do better than this. You can do so much better than this.
JUST FOR FUN: On my drive home I was thinking about just how this movie could work, how this concept of a movie centered around Emoji’s could actually work. Here’s my pitch, feel free to turn this into the sequel (That’s almost inevitable, the films made triple it’s budget back)
- Make it R rated. R rated animated movies can do good business, look at how much Sausage Party made and that movie was one of the best films of 2016, so business wise it’s a safe move
- Focus the entire story on the poop emoji and the eggplant emoji. I will freely admit that the best part of THIS movie was Poop so why not give him his own film?
- The story is about how Poop always feels like he’s nothing but a number 2 and he’s tired of it, just once he’d like to feel like Number 1 and so he decides to go with his friend Eggplant (Who is constantly making dick jokes, this is essential) to try and find somewhere where Poop can finally triumph
- From there it’s a road trip movie through the phone trying to find a better place and goes through apps like Grindr or an app that looks like it’s normal but actually hides porn, stuff like that. They keep going along trying to find their place.
- While they’re gone, The Devil emoji, Middle Finger emoji and Vomit emoji wonder where poop and eggplant have gone because they miss their friends and so go off looking for them.
- Meanwhile, Smiley, seeing that she’s being picked less and less, tries to stop the three other emoji’s finding Poop and Eggplant by sending an army of spam bots (Picture the scene from Wizard of Oz where she sends the flying monkeys) to distract them with penis enlargement emails to distract them. These spam bots, being idiots, end up getting lost and accidentally turn on Tor, which pops up just in front of Poop and Eggplant which makes them impossible to find.
- Poop and Eggplant get lost in the Dark Web, a terrifying area where they’re sure they’ll be lost forever seeing snuff films and the like every time they turn around. You know that scene in Alice in Wonderland where she’s crying and singing about giving herself very good advice? That scene, but with sounds of painful screams in t he background and the darkest jokes the writers can come up with.
- Their friends, Devil, Finger and Vomit somehow find them (With the help from the Grindr app maybe?) and as a team they all head back home (In an Uber, because we gotta have product placement) and send the smiley emoji herself into the dark web, where she stars in her own snuff film (Off screen, obviously)
- The moral of this story is that even if you’re not number 1 to everyone, you’re number 1 to someone and that’s enough
- Every song on the soundtrack for my version of the movie will need to include the word “Emotion”, so we’re talking songs like “So Emotional” or “Lsay All Your Love On Me”, focussing on the line “Don’t go wasting your emotions”
Now, is my movie great? No, but it’s a lot more interesting than The Emoji Movie that we got by a country mile and at least while the parent’s are off seeing my actually interesting Emoji movie, they can ship their kids off to go see Captain Underpants like they should be!