The Emoji Movie is cute, with an imaginative premise. … That’s all there is to it.
The Emoji Movie Synopsis
Within teenager Alex’s smartphone is a universe of mini-worlds based on phone apps. One such world is Textopolis, a digital city entirely populated by emojis. One day, the peaceful albeit highly regulated lives of the emojis are thrown into horrible disarray: instead of projecting the expression he represents, MEH emoji Gene panics and delivers a confusing one. For that offence, Smiler, the leader emoji, decides that Gene needs to be deleted. Gene needs deleting, must be deleted, for the sake of all the virtual worlds.
You don’t need to be an industry expert to know this. All creative endeavors need to be equally competent in concept and execution. Fail either one and you’d be dying for people to disassociate you from the fizzled end-product.
Which is going to be the case for The Emoji Movie a few years down the road. Without a doubt, this movie is a textbook example of a potent concept poorly, even disastrously executed. While somewhat cliché in feel nowadays, the idea of different realms within one smartphone still provides for so many storytelling possibilities. At the same time, the device of one individualistic emoji screwing up at work, thus risking phone-wide catastrophe, is also the perfect starting point for an outrageous, roller coaster-like adventure. All sorts of themes could then be surreptitiously discussed using characters introduced during this adventure.
Alas, everything is instead dragged down by truly lifeless dialogue and plotting. Jokes are unfunny. Characters are a cure for insomnia. Even the various app-worlds are nothing to get excited about. None remotely has that “wow” factor.
In so many ways, The Emoji Movie ends up being the very “meh” protagonist Gene is in search of throughout. I was certainly making that face a lot during the 86 minutes of meaningless and unfunny banter.
At various points, I even wondered whether the producers meant for this outcome, as some sort of tasteless, very “meh” joke.
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