Oh, sorry – did you want more than that? Okay. This is a lazy, cynical exercise in filmmaking driven by executive hubris and utter contempt for the audience. Ill-conceived, muddled and creatively bankrupt, Sony have shattered the rock bottom for animated fare in 2017, letting crap like “Monster Island” and “The Boss Baby” off the hook.
When Gene (T J Miller) finds himself unable to limit his range of emotions to his assigned role, he ends up on a quest to get himself reprogrammed, with the help of his best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris).
“The Emoji Movie” even challenges Pixar’s “Cars” for how ill-thought-out its fictional world is, but then this is a shallow, sneering concoction of corporate synergy and nauseating product placement in which SpotifyTM and Dropbox® save the ‘world’. The parade of celebrity paycheque-cashing cameos may include the likes of Patrick Stewart, Sofia Vergara and Sean Hayes but their performances – along with those of the leads are – possibly literally and with no pun intended – phoned in. Worst of the worst is James Corden – the likeable man’s Ricky Gervais – whose one-note acting range has thus far been masked by his endearing laddish TV presenter schtick but is cruelly exposed by the demands of lead voice role.
The script is a litany of worn-out gags about mobile phones and apps patched together with muddled messages about being yourself, or maybe fitting in and that mobile devices are bad for you (except they’re also good for you and save the day in the achingly patronising and out of touch ‘real-life’ subplot of the film).
This is a misfire of egregious proportions on every level, failing to wring even one iota of insight from its unworkable premise. The ancient Egyptians used a language of symbols for communication and they even had a specific symbol for bodily discharge. Now, thanks to Sony, so do cinema-goers.