Recently, people have outright slandered The Emoji Movie as not only the worst film of the year, but the worst film ever, and that is seriously harsh, considering how little of film people see a year. Most haven’t seen this year’s The Dark Tapes, but try to give that a run for your money, it’s absolutely and astonishingly horrible. Yes, this film is about emojis, and when you think about it, how can you really make a film about them. On the other hand, it’s all personification, anyway. It is all based on reality and the things they are running into are just masked versions of real things. So, let’s get into it.
The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene, an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak. Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever. (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
One of the complaints I first saw about this film came from YouTube critic Chris Stuckmann, who was overly aggravated that one of the main plot lines was that the emoji’s had to travel from one app to the next, the next being DropBox. Honestly, I say why? Like I said before, everything that has to do with animation is all just personification anyway. The heroes are trying to get from Point A to Point B, which is plot direction, which some movies don’t even have. Also, I thought the way these characters saw these apps as an entire world of its own was absolutely unique, especially when it came to Instagram. Plus, my kid likes it, and it’s hard to have him like anything other than Mickey Mouse at this age.
Is it the best animated movie of the year? No. Is it the worst, absolutely not. I have seen four animated films this year that were specifically worse than The Emoji Movie. I have also seen four animated films this year that are specifically better than it as well, making this film literally smack down in the middle of the spectrum. Neither great or terrible.
These are just my first impressions. Let’s go ahead and break down The Emoji Movie to interpret the stars.
TITLE – Emoji Movie, The
Year – 2017
Genres – Comedy, Family, Animation
PEOPLE SCORE – 8/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 2|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting. The acting was neither terrible or great, mostly typical and forgettable. The characters, on the other hand, were really good They played such an important role in underlining messages like accepting yourself, expressing your hidden emotions, and most impressively, there are some subtle messages that have to do with gender neutrality. I think everyone did a fine job in the role, but that doesn’t mean they were the only actor for the job. Absolutely every character in this film seemingly had an important role adding to the direction of the plot, I was impressed. They had a reason, they had a purpose, they had a history, and I love it. Everyone in this film really worked well together. Their chemistry was off the charts.
WRITING SCORE – 7/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 2|Interesting – 1
Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue subcategory…which was as unremarkable and forgettable as the meal you had last Tuesday afternoon. I would certainly say that the film is also very well-balanced and consistently holds a strong focus on the story at hand. When it comes to the actual story, I can’t really say it’s the best. It’s got a few things here and there that I think a lot of people will enjoy, but it’s certainly not the greatest story ever told. In my opinion, I also think this film feels fresh and pretty darn original. I’d say I was interested enough to watch the film, but as I watched the movie, my interested died down pretty rapidly and was gone before the film ended.
BTS SCORE – 7/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
Next up, we’re taking a look behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals, and the visuals were pretty darn great here. Somebody knew what they were doing. Next, we’re taking a look at the directing, which slips by without you noticing it. That’s right, there wasn’t anything difficult or challenging for the director. They could’ve hired any director for the job and the movie would be exactly the same. Nothing challenging or difficult in the editor’s desk, either. They stitched the movie together just fine, but there’s nothing else to report here because even a kid could probably do it. As with most films, I consider this film to be exactly as advertised, which is good. There wasn’t anything fancy or memorable about the music. It was basically as good as it needed to be in order to keep the tone in place…and that’s what they did here, as well.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1
Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? That was perfectly clear and set the rest of the film up for a good ride. How were the obstacles? Totally fine. There were plenty of clear obstacles in the way, just as you’d come to expect. How was the climax? The climax was perfect. It felt like a perfect culmination of everything else put together, just as it should. Alright, so how was the falling action? Well, it started to calm things down a little bit, but other than that, not the best. You never get the sensation that they are returning to a new norm, so it’s not a complete falling action.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 3/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 1
Okay, so was this movie as entertaining as it wanted to be? Let’s get into that. As far as rewatchability is concerned, I don’t know. I might watch it again if I was in the mood, but I don’t see myself looking for the film anytime soon. Did I have fun while watching it, at least? To a degree, yeah, but that really just had to come down to a few scenes here and there, not the entire film. Do I have any impulse to buy it? No way, Jose! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? I really have no impulse to tell anybody about it, honestly. Does this suck you in, though? Maybe in certain parts, but definitely not throughout.
SPECIALTY SCORE – 40/50
Kids – 10|Family – 5|Comedy – 5|Concept – 10|Halfway Decent – 10
Onto the specialty category. I have now seen this movie twice. My son saw me writing this review and begged to see it again, so you at least know how entertaining it is for him. That being said, I noticed more things the second time around that is actually more entertaining than I initially thought. For kids, I gave full points, as I don’t think kids will have a hard time loving the film, plus it has some really strong messages that they won’t even realize they are absorbing. As for adults, I fully understand some folks hate it for whatever reason, so I had to give it half points there, but I did enjoy it, for what it is worth. As for it’s comedy, I enjoyed that more the second time around, but once again, I understand a lot of people hate this type of humor, so half points again. The concept of a world within the smartphone really works, though. It is super unique and creative with what they were able to do. Is it halfway decent? Don’t listen to the critics with a thumb up their butts, it is totally decent enough to watch.